Two friends who met through the Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market started a company that connects food trucks with hungry customers.

Jean Smith was a market vendor, and Janet Bloom was working for the Farmington Downtown Development Authority (DDA) when they became friends. The two, now working with Dearborn DDA, sealed their Food Trucks to You partnership while on vacation in Florida.

Janet Bloom and Jean Smith sealed their Food Trucks to You partnership while on vacation in Florida. (contributed)

Over 65 trucks, 45 parishes

The company plans neighborhood food truck visits and events, and promotes a fleet of vehicles that serve everything from sandwiches and pizza to burgers and crickets. Smith said she pursued the idea after a friend who owns a food truck mentioned that she worked in subdivisions.

“This weekend I started putting all the social media handles together and creating a website,” she said. “Because of my work at events, I have a great database of food trucks.”

Six weeks later, Smith persuaded Bloom to join her on vacation – and join the business. In just a few months, they have recruited a list of more than 65 trucks and booked appointments in 45 communities and nine special events.

“It’s a huge time saver for (the food truck owners),” said Bloom. “We’re sending them enough jobs to fill their calendars.”

“We’re letting food trucks do what they do best, which is to feed people,” added Smith.

Marketing for a new business

Food Trucks to You was a boon to Ash Kickin ‘BBQ even before the company’s 22-foot trailer hit the market. Partner Erin Bates runs the business while her father Kevin works the pit.

“We’ll be full of bookings as of July 1st,” said Bates. She expects her bespoke trailer to arrive from Texas by then. “Jean is just a fantastic ally and person. She is very helpful. “

Washington Township-based Ash Kickin ‘BBQ came about when a layoff from COVID-19 accelerated Kevin’s retirement plan. Bates said he is the “ultimate pit master” who makes his own sauces and graters while she takes care of the business.

“We’re new to this type of job,” she said, “so it really helps to have someone to help us get our name out there.” She does the marketing so I can focus on what I need to be a successful food truck. “

The Ascent Food TruckThe Grilled Wrap was dropped off in the parking lot at The Ascent in Farmington Hills on a rainy Friday night and booked to you through food trucks.

Discounts for residents

Food truck visits are a perk for 250+ residents at The Ascent, a luxury Farmington Hills apartment complex. Sales advisor Jenessa Deshazor said the pandemic had restricted their typical activities.

“We’re a Village Green community and we’re number one in terms of resident satisfaction,” she said. “We had to get a little more creative this year.”

Food trucks were part of that conversation, Deshazor said, but no one knew how to get it done. Then she saw Smith’s post about Food Trucks to You on a local Facebook page.

“We have different food trucks twice a month,” Deshazor said. “She put together a whole schedule for us from April to October … That will set us apart.”

Smith and Bloom have plans to expand food trucks to you nationwide in 2022 – and even have Canada in their sights. While working some late nights, they both said the best part of doing business is making connections and boosting the local economy.

“Right now people are really hungry for this type of activity,” said Bloom.

To learn more or to book a food truck for your neighborhood or event, visit foodtrucks2you.com.