The makings of a food truck festival at Santa Anita Race Track

 

 
 
 

 

 

This is part of an ongoing series about the start up of a food truck called NaanStop. You can follow us on Twitter, on Facebook, or email me at neal.idnani@gmail.com with any feedback. Check back here for weekly updates!

 

NaanStop’s Grand Opening and first food festival is only 11 days away, that’s Saturday January 29th!!  We are ecstatic to be working with a great partner for the event, the Santa Anita Race Track.  Check out event details and pre-buy tickets at www.santaanitaevents.com.  NaanBelievers get an extra $2 off by using the discount code MVP.  When we went to our first food truck festival, we wondered what it took to organize an event of that scale, why someone would organize it and some of the challenges.  Thankfully, Chris Quinn offered to sit down with us for an interview to shed some light on those questions as well as what will make the Food Festival at Santa Anita Racetrack one of the best events of the year. 

 

 

Why did you want to hold a food truck festival at Santa Anita Park?

 

I’m amazed at this phenomenon. When we were conceptualizing how we can do this I thought, “This is great! We’re not a parking lot. We’ve got things going on, With the live racing and the available inventory of this legendary facility, with the San Gabriel Mountains – you can see snow on the mountains over there – coupled with the Spazmatics and some of the best food trucks in southern California, it has all the ingredients to be really successful that everyone wants to be involved with. We have turned a lot of trucks away.

 

What has the response been like so far?

 

It’s been great…out here in the San Gabriel Valley, we don’t see that food truck phenomenon. It’s starting to break in a little bit with the Speed Zone and our friends at the SGV Foodtruck Fest (@sgvfoodtruckfst), but normally you have to go to the west side or to downtown LA. So, I think it’s great for some of the food trucks to come to Santa Anita and show their brand and diversity in the menus to a new clientele out here so maybe they can start following them around or they can start coming out this way.

 

Tell me about the process of building this whole event out

 

There’s a few people involved. One of which is a guy I play basketball, Josh Hiller, who started Road Stoves (@RoadStoves) …So I said, “Josh, what do you think?” and he said “I think its great! You guys have such a great area and its unique. I’ll help you promote it and I can get some of our trucks involved.” So that’s really how it started. And, by me just going to First Fridays…I saw that these are the people that we need to introduce to racing. The younger, savvy demographic.  

 

 

Were there any challenges or road blocks in setting this event up?

 

Sure…we have many different customers…and one is a $5million animal [the horse] and if something happens and spooks a $5 million animal, then I’m in a lot of trouble…And then logistically, we’re bringing these trucks in and then we go to measure our tunnel and our tunnel is at 11’4”. One of the things is that trucks who are over that height have to cross the track. So we’re going to put planks down and cross the track that way. And then for those trucks who are too big, unfortunately they’re going to be stuck there until about 4:45 until the thing ends.

 

Where do you see this event going in the future?

 

We’re excited. This is something new and different and if everything cooperates [weather] its something that will be on the Santa Anita timeline. Hopefully we can do it a couple of times during our season which concludes April 17.