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FOOD TRUCK CULTURE: Food truck industry on the rise in East Texas

Since the spring season, NET Health has seen an increase of permits for food trucks.

TYLER, Texas — The landscape of food is quickly evolving in East Texas with many restaurants starting off their business on wheels. 

Food trucks are hard to miss here in East Texas and the business layout is only growing from here.

"It’s booming, every time I look around there’s a new food truck popping up. It’s more hands on and intimate when it comes to food," said Josh Mckenzie, a food truck customer. 

Silvia Garcia is the owner of a well-known food truck that sits off Broadway Avenue in Tyler, Taqueria La Banqueta. Inside you’ll find street tacos fresh off the grill among other snacks.

"We started saving up for a food truck then to buy the permits with the city," Garcia said. "There wasn’t anything like this before and I said this is something mobile. You don’t wait for the customer, we go look for the customer."

It’s this business layout that convinced Garcia to open up her own food truck nearly two years ago. Within that time frame she’s seen the industry shift gears into full speed in East Texas 

"The people love it and they responded well," Garcia said. 

According to NET Health, nearly half of the permits they give out are to food trucks serving Hispanic meals.  

"We have 107 mobile food units permitted. We’ve seen a trend since the spring of permitted about one a week," said CEO of NET Health George Roberts.

With those numbers, Roberts said they're seeing a steady growth in the food truck industry in the area. A few of them, like Catch me if you Can are finally opening up their brick-and-mortar store as their business grows. Other businesses will be taking their wheels and parking them in a future mobile food park.

"The new owner has put a sign out there so they have plans to get that going in the not too distant future," Roberts said.  

Garcia said down the road she would like to open a restaurant inside the mall. She said it would be a milestone if she did because it would be the only Mexican food option inside the mall.

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