Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita food truckers form official coalition, elect officers

The Flying Stove co-owner Jeff Schauf is the president of the new Wichita Food Truck Coalition.
The Flying Stove co-owner Jeff Schauf is the president of the new Wichita Food Truck Coalition. The Wichita Eagle

Wichita’s food truck owners have always been friendly and helpful with each other.

But now, four years after Wichita food truck scene pioneers Jeff and Rob Schauf opened The Flying Stove, the food truckers have made that friendliness official.

They’ve formed the Wichita Food Truck Coalition, an official group that has officers, regular meetings, membership dues and goals.

“We’ve officially put together a proper food truck coalition, mostly to give ourselves a unified voice for different issues that come up and to help each other,” said Jeff Schauf, the coalition’s newly minted president.

The other officers are Jodi Buchanan of B.S. Sandwich Press, who will serve as vice president; Kate Clause, owner of Sunflower Espresso, who is secretary; and Anna Hastings, owner of the Brown Box Bakery, who is treasurer.

The group will meet once a month, Schauf said, where they can share stories, discuss issues and talk about city regulations and permitting for their businesses. They also will be able to share advice about issues common to food trucks like, for example, where to get the cheapest propane or where to find a good diesel mechanic.

“It’s just so we’re more legit,” said Schauf, who for years has organized less formal meetups of food truck operators. “The informal meetings were fun, but we mostly just talked stories and vented out. We still do that, but this is to help us in the event we need to come together and come to solutions with the city.”

So far, the coalition has 17 member trucks but expects to add more, especially since the local food truck scene seems to add a business every day.

The coalition also has a website that lists its members and includes links to its social media pages, where they update their schedules. Find it at www.wichitafoodtrucks.com.