Portland Food Cart StoriesIn Episode 51 of the podcast it’s great to have the opportunity to speak with Steven Shomler the author of Portland Food Cart Stories: Behind the Scenes of Portland’s Culinary Entrepreneurs.

After publishing more than 50 interviews, most of them with mobile food entrepreneurs, I understand the depth of the stories behind the food carts you love to eat at.

Many of these stories are ones of entrepreneurship. A deep burning desire to be free, own a business, and have more control over ones destiny is an often cited reason I’ve uncovered in many of the own discussions with food truck owners. While other stories are driven by passion. A desire to cook a certain type of food that is specific to region of the country and not available in a certain metro area or a lifelong love of cooking.

steven shomler Today, Shomler shares some of the stories that are included in his new book about the Portland food cart scene. As many of you know, Portland is one of the most active mobile food eco-systems in the United States and no one describes it better than Shomler. In addition to writing a book on the subject, Shomler is also actively involved in the local food scene by blogging on the topic, being featured as a culinary expert on a local radio station, and regularly posting mouth-watering photos of places he’s eating at on his Facebook page.

Quotes from the Show

Food cart and food truck owners work grueling hours. They don’t usually make a lot of money and I just want to see small business people succeed. – Steven Shomler on his desire to help food cart owners.

When I find that amazing food kind of where my mind goes is. Who are you? Why are you here? Why are you doing this? – Steven Shomler on pulling unique stories from food cart owners.

They’ve all had a dream burning in their heart for a long, long time. – Steven Shomler on the similarities he’s found across the many food cart owners he’s spoken with. 


What You’ll Learn

  • Why it took Shomler roughly 6 years to eat at a food cart when he lived in Portland.
  • Why Shomler decided to become a speaker and author
  • Shomler’s experience in the start-up world
  • Marketing tips for food cart owners
  • The importance of being active on social media and being active on Facebook and Twitter before you start your business.
  • The reason you need to create a simple, one page story for your food truck.
  • The importance of showing up at food truck events to support other local businesses. Networking is key.


Mentioned in the Podcast

Portland Food Cart Stories Book – Like what you hear? Check out Shomler’s book available now on Amazon.com. The book has received some great reviews so far. Reader Warning: This book could make you hungry.

Portland Food Cart Adventures – This is where Shomler blogs about the local mobile food scene. Shomler has been covering the Portland beat since January of 2012.

Lardo – This is one of the first food carts Shomler ever ate at in Portland and got him hooked on the local food scene. Lardo has expanded since Shomler first ate at the establishment and now has three permanent locations in Portland.

Big Ass Sandwiches –  This is one of the food carts featured in Shomler’s new book. In the interview, he shares how Big Ass Sandwiches got their name. This is a very popular cart in Portland and has been featured on the Travel Channel, NPR, and the Cooking Channel. Check them out if you’re in the area.

Bento Box PDX – Long before starting their business, Shomler shares how the owners of Bento Box dreamed about owning their own restaurant and being part of the Portland food scene.

Burmasphere PDX – A food cart that will be opening in the fall of 2014 mentioned during the program. Shomler says Burmasphere is approaching the launch of their business correctly by being active in social media before opening day to help generate awareness for their food.

Looking for Food Trucks – Janet Tandy is another great friend of the food truck community and helps tell the story of food trucks located in the L.A. / O.C. area of Southern California. If you want to stay on top of the SoCal mobile food scene, Janet is the authority! She’s also helped point me toward some other great interviewees to speak to in the near future so thank you for that!

Nashville Food Trucks: Stories and Recipes from the Road – Shout out to a book covering the mobile food scene in the great city of Nashville that was released by Julie Festa. Purchase it on Amazon now!

Want to start your own food business?

Hey! 👋I’m Brett Lindenberg, the founder of Food Truck Empire.

We interview successful founders and share the stories behind their food trucks, restaurants, food and beverage brands. By sharing these stories, I want to help others get started.

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