On an idyllic spring day – a clear blue sky and warmer sun rays – Johannesburg’s latest food hub opened in the parking lot at Benmore Gardens Shopping Centre, in Sandton. The eatery needs the space of a parking lot because it is a group of five to six food trucks.
“As an outdoor concept we thought that a spring/summer pop-up would be a fantastic way to kick off,” said Jade Mann, owner of the Good and Proper Food Trucks Eatery.
“We wanted to launch in the Sandton CBD, being Johannesburg’s commercial hub. We pitched the concept to the Benmore Gardens Shopping Centre, which saw the value in this unique concept and accordingly gave us the opportunity to host Good and Proper at the centre, for our first three-month pop-up.”
It is running from 1 September until 25 November 2016, every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between 11:30am and 3pm.
Mann said there was a movement globally towards craftsmanship because consumers were increasingly seeking hand-crafted products and food trucks fell perfectly into that niche.
“Artisan food trucks provide options that are not mass produced and are high quality, made with fine ingredients, love and attention to detail.”
The trucks, each unique in appearance and design, circle numerous tables and chairs, fashioned out of wooden crates or steel drums, a few shaded by huge, colourful umbrellas. That way, people can either sit and enjoy their meals in the cheerful environment, or go for the takeaway option.
“One of the main reasons behind the food truck park concept is to create cool spaces where people can, apart from being able to access great artisan food, take a break, hang out with friends and colleagues, and grab some sunshine, music and good vibes,” said Mann.
Food on offer
There are many sweet and savoury options so various palates will be satisfied. Think everything from gourmet burgers, pizzas, Belgian waffles, ice cream, pork belly on skewers, fresh salads and artisan sandwiches, to chicken wings, paella, tacos, and more. There is also a bar and a coffee truck.
A few trucks would also rotate, said Mann, and the number could even increase. Because South Africa was so diverse and had many cultural dietary requirements, such as eating halaal or kosher food, she said the eatery was exploring further options.
Food trucks became extremely successful in Cape Town before moving to Johannesburg, she said. This is the first pop-up in the City of Gold.
“Our plan is to open further pop-ups and permanent locations… As part of our Benmore offering, we are also going to be starting with Friday afternoon/evening after-work drinks this week, when customers will be able to have sundowners and enjoy a selected group of the food truck vendors who normally trade during the day.”
The Good and Proper Food Trucks Eatery would like to expand food trucks to other areas of Johannesburg and South Africa, and Mann said they were investigating various locations.
See the trucks, seating area and set-up on the first day of trading:
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