Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Civic Center EATS gives food trucks a chance for exposure

DENVER — Civic Center EATS brings food trucks from across the Denver metro to one place every Wednesday and Thursday.

It’s a great opportunity for businesses to make more money but it can sometimes be difficult for businesses to participate.

The Civic Center Conservancy, partnered with Barefoot Public Relations, started a program called EATS for All. One component of the program offers women-owned and BIPOC-owned food trucks a partial scholarship to lower the barrier to participation.

“Historically, they’ve had hard times getting small business loans, hard times getting into events,” said Eric Raya Steinbeiss, director of community partnerships and activations for the Civic Center Conservancy. “We wanted to do what we could to increase accessibility and to increase opportunity for these small businesses.”

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John Andrews, owner of Big Belly Brothers Barbecue, prepares some burnt ends in his food truck.

John Andrews, one of the owners of Big Belly Brothers Barbecue, said that the scholarship is a big help.

“A lot of places charge fees, which can be kind of outrageous at times,” said Andrews. “It’s difficult. We have to gamble a little bit and say, ‘Is it worth going to this event? Are we going to see a positive outcome as far as the financial side of it?’ With the scholarship they provided, it lowered that risk and put a little bit of ease on our minds.”

Jerry and Randi Cass, owners of Bandwagon Sandwich Company, think Civic Center EATS is a good chance to reach more customers.

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Jerry and Randi Cass of Bandwagon Sandwich Company offering rock-themed sandwiches to people at Civic Center Eats.

“All of the best food trucks in town are here,” said Jerry Cass. “So it’s really important to our business to have something like this.”

They also wanted to give credit to the Civic Center Conservancy for their outreach to women-owned and BIPOC-owned businesses.

“Civic Center is very forward-thinking for doing that,” said Cass. “A lot of these food trucks are women-owned, us included. I feel like it’s important to have that represented here.”

All of the EATS for All scholarships for 2024 are taken, but the applications will be open for next year in February 2025.

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