Downtown will have two new eating establishments rolling into town each Wednesday afternoon — a food truck and a hotdog cart.
The food truck and hot dog cart have periodically been spotted in the parking lot of Express Employment Professionals at 721 Front Street on the west side of the Federal Building.
Express Employment Professionals owner David McClain said the mobile food options will become a weekly event appearing in his parking lot each Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“Doing it once a week provides variety for the people who work downtown,” said Vince Scherrey, owner of Road Hog BBQ & Catering food truck.
Scherrey started cooking in professional kitchens when he was 15 years old. He then went on to graduate from culinary school as a certified chef in 2003. He has worked as a sous chef and as an executive chef at a number of restaurants around the state.
Scherrey has lived in Conway for the past nine years working as a chef at the Centennial Valley Country Club. In 2008, he started Road Hog BBQ & Catering as a side job. In June, Scherrey left his job at the country club to take his food truck on the road full time.
Road Hog BBQ serves barbecue nachos, pulled pork sandwiches, burgers and daily specialty options. Scherrey’s coleslaw and barbecue sauce are homemade, and his burgers are hand-cut.
The people of Conway enjoy popular trends, and with food trucks becoming a pop culture phenomenon, Scherrey thought a food truck would do well in the city, he said.
Scherrey said he enjoys his days running the food truck more than the times he spent in the kitchen as a chef.
“You get to meet all kinds of people,” he said. “It’s all about good food and serving people a good time with good atmosphere.”
Nate Sullinger had a goal of creating a catering business that brought food to people in a fast and efficient way thus creating Nate’s Hot Dog Haven in May 2012.
Nate’s Hot Dog Haven is a hot dog cart that serves quarter pound Famous Nathan’s hot dogs with the option of 30 condiment choices. Nate’s has five specialty dogs including The Frog Dog with green ketchup, mustard, relish, chives and a pickle spear.
About a year and four months ago, Sullinger set up his cart in front of what was then Kings Piano Bar, now Kings Live Music. He now serves hot dogs to two corporations in the industrial park, serves as a concession stand for peewee football and is now establishing a spot downtown with Road Hog food truck.
Scott Champlin, resource and service manager of Snap-on Equipment, said having food trucks come to the plant is a convenient way for the company to provide lunch options for employees.
“We try to do nice things for our associates - random acts of thoughtfulness,” he said. “Having a vendor like Nate’s come out is part of that tradition.”
Sullinger said company lunches at the industrial park are his bread and butter, but establishing a lunch spot downtown puts the two businesses in the public eye.
Scherry and Sullinger agreed that Conway needed a food truck scene, so the two began collaborating and “sharing gigs.”
Downtown Conway is growing and will one day be like the River Market in Little Rock, Sullinger said.
“Seeing a hot dog cart on the corner brings that big city atmosphere, and I’m just happy to be part of it,” he said.
Sullinger said he wants to grow his business to eventually include more employees and multiple carts around the city.
Sullinger and Scherrey said they would like to get more food trucks and mobile food vendors involved, but will have to talk to the city about finding a larger location.
The traveling food duo will be at the Firefighters for the Cure 5k on Sept. 28, and they will also be making appearances at ArtsFest events beginning Sept. 27 through Oct. 5.
Follow them on Facebook to see where they’ll turn up next and visit their websites at:
(Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1215. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)