Provo food trucks transition to storefronts

A number of Provo’s food trucks have begun opening up storefronts across Utah Valley. These restaurants have been not only easier for inquiring customers to locate but also for the owners to operate, as well.

Although these restaurant owners are generally more satisfied with these stable locations, storefronts and food trucks both have their pros and cons, not the mention the complexities of transitioning from one to the other.

Blake and Brandon Barkdull pose in front of the Penguin Brothers food truck. Brandon Barkdull said they find people with their truck and people find them with their restaurant. (Brandon Barkdull)

The Penguin Brothers, an ice cream sandwich food truck, recently opened its first restaurant location at 1273 North Canyon Road.

Convenience, a love of Provo and an “incredible market” led to the transition, according to Penguin Brothers cofounder Brandon Barkdull.

Barkdull said the food truck is often busy catering weddings, and it’s difficult for them to go to public events like the Provo Food Truck Roundup.

“People would ask where they can find us, and we didn’t really have an answer,” Barkdull said.

Barkdull said the store presents different challenges from the truck because the store requires “constant maintenance.”

“Doing so has helped us rise to the occasion and has of course helped the business itself,” he said.

Sweeto Burrito owner Keith Crossley said transitioning the Sweeto Burrito food truck into its first storefront made him realize a food truck operates quite differently in prep time and the number of people being served.

Sweeto Burrito has an Orem location. Sweeto Burrito transitioned from a food truck to a store front. (Jon Pierre Francia)

“Needless to say, we had to adapt systems to serving more people,” Crossley said.

Waffle Love owner Adam Terry said a local restaurant offered to help him open a storefront.

“Food trucks are definitely harder to maintain and market,” Terry said. “Operating a food truck is way more involved and complex than stores are.”

Barkdull said he chose to open his storefront in Provo for convenience, because he was going to school there. He said it was an “incredible market” for the product.

Sweeto Burrito has food trucks in Provo. Sweeto Burrito owner Keith Crossley said after transitioning from food truck to store front, they had to adapt to serving more people. (Jon Pierre Francia)

Crossley said he the location of the Malt Shoppe in Provo opened up as a possible storefront — a place “where so many people have fond memories” — so he decided to open up a storefront there.

Several other food trucks in Provo, such as Cup Bop and Bruges Waffles & Frites, have established restaurant locations, as well.

The Provo “Food Truck Roundup” takes place at the Startup Building (100 W. 600 S.) from 6 to 9 p.m. every Thursday.

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