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Food Truck Festival makes comeback in Kentwood

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Posted at 7:06 PM, Jun 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-19 22:59:12-04

KENTWOOD, Mich. — The rain may have slowed things down a bit on Saturday, but it didn't stop the community from supporting local businesses.

Kentwood officially welcomed summer back with its annual Food Truck Festival.

“It’s a nice step towards getting back to normal,” said one visitor experiencing a little taste of normalcy on Saturday in Kentwood.

“Had some egg rolls to get a little Asian cuisine in there,” he said. “It’s good to be back here because last year we couldn’t have this.”

The City along with GR8 Food Trucks finally had the chance to open after COVID put the event on hold last year.

More than a dozen food trucks were out in the parking lot of the Kent District Library.

There were tons of options for people to try—from Indian and Filipino cuisine, to barbeque, hot dogs and pretzels.

“We’ve got our pepperoni provolone pretzel melt, which is a salted pretzel with pepperoni and provolone on top thrown in the salamander and browned a little bit,” said Jason Beecher of Beecher’s Pretzels.

The original salted pretzels with craft beer cheese account for about 90 percent of sales.

There’s also a cookies-and-cream option with chocolate sauce, Oreos and sweet cream.

“We started the pretzel business a little under three years ago, and we picked up this truck last May in Georgia,” said Beecher. “Because of COVID we couldn’t get licensed for a while—July 4th was really our start.”

“We get to go to different places. I mean, my truck alone averages about 15 different places a week,” said Lauren D’Angelo.

She’s the vice president of the Grand Rapids Food Truck Association and also owns Patty Matters.

Her gourmet burgers come with custom toppings and can be found at breweries, corporate lunches, and events like this.

“You’re always at a different place; you’re always seeing different people,” she said. “You get to partner up with different trucks; it’s a real nice community we have here.”

And that’s what it’s all about. Enjoying the community, trying new food, and supporting those among the hardest hit by the pandemic.

“Food trucks are the ultimate local business,” said Alan Stone of GR8 Food Trucks and UCC Desserts. “So, if you’re going to support a local business, food trucks are the best way to do that. Nine times out of ten you’re gonna find the owner of an actual business working on the truck—serving you, making your food, and there’s no better way to support local than to have that close knit of a relationship.”

The event also included live music and a beer tent.

There will be another one to wrap up summer on Saturday, Sept. 11.

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