Growing up in Alaska it was always slim picking when it came to food and restaurant options. We had our mom and pop restaurants with some fancier restaurants in downtown Juneau for the legislature. Restaurant options were slim and business was good for the restaurant owners who didn’t have to worry about new entrants.
It wasn’t until the 2008 recession that the restaurant scene in Juneau started to change, with the economy on the rocks many entrepreneurs found themselves without jobs and with tons of ideas. Instead of looking for new work with the State of Alaska or with the City and Borough of Juneau, people started investing their own money into ventures. Soon a small food shack alley was added to our downtown tourist area, that has some 150,000+ tourist walk through and purchase from a week. From shacks restaurants started to grow, the ones that already existed began to adapt with the times and update their businesses to stay relevant in the market.
Since 2008 the restaurant industry has been booming, when a liquor license opens up there is a line of people trying to purchase it. This shows the growth Juneau is currently going through and also the potential of the market and its future size. With the growth of restaurants has come the emergence and foundation of food truck. With only two in 2008 Juneau’s food-truck market has grown to 22 different trucks working in multiple locations serving residents and tourists of Juneau.
The above photo is a picture of a brand new food truck to Juneau called Gla-Scholl Grinds, serving shaved ice treats. Owner Erik Scholl has created shaved ice mixed with ice cream and fruits given unique names as a delicious treat for tourists and residents of Juneau. This is just one example of the many new food trucks opened in Juneau this year.
With the food truck market growing so rapidly, I wonder what effect it will have on the rest of our city with food and restaurants. Maybe by 2016 Juneau will have doubled in restaurants having all these food trucks moving into restaurant locations if they are successful.
Call to Action: What kind of food truck would you expect to find in Alaska? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section.