Cider Corner: ​Are Food Trucks An Option?

Since ​Harvest Ridge Winery can only serve —​ and ​not cook​ ​— food at ​its cidery location, working with food trucks is the best option to draw in customers that want to eat while they drink cider​, said Social Media Manager Sofia Horvath​.

​”​It is neither easier or harder – but does nurture a symbiotic relationship between food trucks and ourselves​,” she pointed out.

Food Trucks — or allowing food inside your taproom — can be a way to help foster some business community growth along with encouraging consumers to “have one more” or more while helping support another business along with your own.

​At Harvest Ridge’s Delaware location — which is the more established and larger of its two locations — Horvath said they have a food truck on site every weekend.

“We may invite multiple trucks if we are hosting a larger event or expect bigger crowds,” she added. “We may also invite a truck on other, non-weekend days if we see the need.”

Prior to having a food truck ​Jefferson County Ciderworks had a grill​, which is not great for insurance​ purposes pointed out Katie Greenfield, and then pizza delivery​.

“It worked well but I think the appeal wore off,” she said. Now, the cidery has a truck permanently on site that it owns and operates.

“It makes a massive difference in clientele, because we have entire families that can come, rather than those just ‘going to a bar,’ ” Greenfield said.

Food is very important in Fort Wayne​, Indiana said Kekionga Cider‘s Tyler Butcher​.

​”​I don’t think there is one brewery/winery/distillery that is production only​,” he noted​. ​”​There is almost always a focus on having a kitchen in the facility as well.​”

Butch’s cidery has teamed up with a local catering company ​and it will operate a retail kitchen in ​the tasting room​ starting his summer.

​”​I think it’s better to have a partner that has experience and knowledge of the food industry, rather than try to tackle food yourself,” Butcher said.​

In the past, ​Kekionga has​ ​had food trucks out every Friday and Saturday evening​ for 3-4 hours.

“We didn’t have too much preference on what trucks would come​,” Butcher said​. ​”We have given a lot of opportunities to new trucks. I have noticed that generally BBQ trucks and pizza vendors have done best for us.​”​

More cideries will share their insights on food trucks in the coming weeks on Cider Corner.

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