We all recognize their presence on campus even more so on Church st, and they’re at every big outdoor event we can remember, these are the food trucks of Burlington.  I’ve always been interested in the idea of food served out of trucks, and since my recent transition in Community Entrepreneurship I’ve been entertaining the idea of opening up a vendor in Burlington after I graduate. I can’t release any details about what I will sell but let’s just say it’s one of the only foods I can’t find anywhere in Chittenden county.


Quick History of Food trucks- The origin of food vendors differs in every country, but in America they became big in the 1950s. They were referred to as canteens and were operated on Army bases, but as time went on they were used to serve food at construction sites. In recent years they’ve evolved to serve all kinds of people in all corners of the country, some serving gourmet food and others dishing out good ol’ comfort food.

Souper Jenny’s Soup Truck of Atlanta


In preparation of a potential career my curiosity led me to find out how to start-up one of these mobile kitchens in Burlington, VT… All vendors must first go through the Church St. Place Market Commission, located at 2 Church st…

  • To be a vendor on Church st. one must complete an application with pictures, measurements and an application fee. There is a committee that approves the vendors each year according to specific set of rules and regulations.
  • To be a vendor at University Place things are a bit more competitive. There are only seven spots available- so operators must sign an agreement and get on the waiting list.

Like any other business, it is clear that there is planning and effort that goes into starting a food truck. But are the advantages any different? I spoke with Pam of Pam’s Deli who was the first ever vendor on University Row. Her vendor has been established for 29 years and isn’t budging anytime soon. Pam told me that the advantages of a food truck (versus restaurant) are less hours, no weekends, and no hired help needed, something Pam and her husband/assistant valued. At this point I am sold on the Food Truck business. There doesn’t seem to be a huge time commitment and I’m sure you get to meet tons of cool people depending on where you park, now all I need to do is to find a truck…

Skinny Pancake, Burlington’s well established creperie, has recently joined us on campus with their little yellow bus.

There has been a published list of the 20 top food trucks in America, and although Burlington hasn’t been ranked yet, who knows what’s in our future?

Top 20 food trucks in America:


Support your local food truck!



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