Summer school in a food truck

Food trucks give aspiring restaurant owners a low-risk way to test the waters

Newscom / File
Cathrine Eckers passes food from a food truck to customer Crystal Seelhammer in St. Paul, Minn., on May 18, 2011. Food trucks can be good starter businesses for students with some time to fill in the summer.

Can't find a summer job as a student? Then start a business.

That is what two students from Belmont University are doing this summer. Hayden Coleman and Ale Delgado took second place in Belmont's Baker Donelson Business Plan Competition this past spring.

The $2,000 prize helped them launch Moovers and Shakers. Their business brings together one of the hot new trends in small business, food carts and mobile food trucks, with good old fashioned soda fountain.

The beauty of food carts and mobile food trucks is the low start-up cost, as seen in this profile on the food cart boom in Portland, Oregon from Business on Main. For just a few thousand dollars aspiring restaurant entrepreneurs are able to break into the food service industry.

But even with the ease of entry, there are always a few bumps in the road for any new start-up.

"It has been a pretty crazy adventure trying to get Moovers and Shakers started," said Hayden. "There has definitely been a learning curve for us, since we are two students who have never started a business before. Also, we have had to deal with things such as health code regulations and searches for places to buy a proper food truck. Everything has taken about four times as long and cost about four times as much as we originally expected, so we have really had to be able to adapt and hustle."

So was it all worth it?

"At the end of the day, after all the stress and setbacks, we still just love making milkshakes," added Hayden. "The people that we have met along the way have been so supportive and helpful. If anything, our experience has made us even more determined and excited for the future of Moovers and Shakers."

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