Located in the heart of the Swarthmore Borough, the Swarthmore Co-op prides itself on its reputation as a community center. As a member owned market, we are always trying to engage members, the Borough, and surrounding neighborhoods. Therefore, for Swarthmore’s First Fridays (similar to Philly’s First Fridays), we always try to plan something exciting and unique for the community.
For November’s First Friday, the Co-op decided to host food trucks on the adjacent street. Later, the night was named the Food Truckathon.
Because this was the first Food Truckathon in Swarthmore, there was a lot of pressure on us to host a successful event. We made sure to host food trucks that used local ingredients and paid close attention to their environmental impact. A few even grew up in the Swarthmore/Media area! Food trucks included Foo Truck, Street Food Philly, Birds of Paradise, Made In The Shade, Spot Burger, the Tamale Cart, Ka’ Chi, and Zsa’s icecream.
The next challenge was the promotion. Again, because this was the first of (hopefully) many Food Truckathons, it was hard to gage the size of our projected audience. We estimated about 1,000 to 1,500 people due to the size of the Borough but also a little extra because of the Swarthmore College Students. Like most events we host, we utilized social media to promote the event. We also included the event in our constant contact and in store chalkboards. In order to reach the students of Swarthmore College, we recruited a few members of the College’s radio station to hang up posters and to promote the event across the airwaves.
Overall, the night was a huge success. Throughout the night, we received numerous compliments and encouragement to host more Truckathons. Afterward, there was even an article in the College’s newspaper about the event.
Due to the success of the first Food Truckathon, it has been decided that this will become a semi annual event. Food Truckathon part two is already in the works for April.