Food Truck Rodeo a satisfying end to festival

By Morgan Johnson
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

“For the Love of Carrboro” is an annual series of events celebrating the town of Carrboro. This year, “For the Love of Carrboro” was held from Feb. 11 until Feb. 14 with an event every night of the week. The final event concluding “For the Love of Carrboro” week was the second annual Valentine’s Day Food Truck Rodeo, which raised money for Farmer Foodshare. The rodeo was held on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, at Carrboro Farmers’ Market, 301 W. Main Street.

Lauren Caldwell waits outside of Chirba Chirba Dumpling at the second annual Valentine’s Day Food Rodeo benefiting Farmer Foodshare, a local nonprofit benefiting low-income Carrboro residents. (Staff photo by Morgan Johnson)

Patrick Mateer, lead coordinator at the Carrboro Market for Farmer Foodshare, said that Farmer Foodshare is a nonprofit that collects food and funds from shoppers and farmers. Those collections from shoppers and farmers contribute to donations that benefit people in Carrboro who are at risk of hunger or malnutrition.

Mateer said, “Shoppers donate food or money to [Farmer Foodshare] to buy food directly from the farmers during that market.” Mateer said this allows many of the farmers to benefit financially from the program.

Food left over by the farmers that is close to expiration, as well as food that the farmers know will not be used or thrown away, is given to Farmer Foodshare as a donation, Mateer said.

All of that food, whether it was bought or donated by farmers and shoppers, is then taken to the Human Rights Center. People from Abbey Court Condominiums, University Lake Apartments and a few other affordable housing apartments can stop by the HRC to get food.

The food trucks at the rodeo included American Meltdown, Chirba Chirba Dumpling, Olde North State BBQ, Baguettaboutit, Parlez Vous Crepe and Pie Pushers.

Venders or businesses wanting to use the Town Commons in Carrboro must do so in conjunction with a nonprofit, Chris Derby, owner of Baguettaboutit, said. “Tonight, the featured nonprofit is Farmer Foodshare, which connects food growers with people who need food.”

All truck owners agreed to donate 10 percent of their proceeds to the Farmer Foodshare. Derby said, “If you talk to a lot of these food truck owners, when we get together with mobile trucks, it’s like a little gourmet food court. It’s hard to make a decision.”
The variety of vendors contributed to diverse options for customers at the Food Truck Rodeo. Derby said the European baguettes and sausages he sells have a lot of great competition.

Derby added, “You’ve got really awesome grilled cheese combinations at American Meltdown.” Other vendors also offer multiple options, such as Parlez Vous Crepe, which serves both savory and sweet crepes; and Pie Pusher, which has both thick and thin crust pizza.

Derby said, “Chirba Chirba, which means, ‘eat, eat’ in Mandarin Chinese, has wonderful both vegetarian and meat dumplings, and Olde North State BBQ has great barbecue and sandwiches. It’s a tough choice.”

Eighth graders Katie Huge and Alexa Sterling of Chapel Hill enjoyed the Valentine’s themed crepe special from Parlez Vous Crepe with crepes topped with strawberries and cream cheese.

Mateer said he hopes the rodeo’s success will continue for many years to come. He believes that Farmer Foodshare’s focus on supporting local farmers and locally grown produce will mean continued impact on the community.

”Overall, everyone wins from this program,” he said. “The food truck rodeo was a success both years, and everyone enjoys truck food.”

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Author of the article

Morgan is a Carrboro Commons staff writer.