FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Food trucks have been powerhouses throughout the pandemic, providing safe spaces for the community to get out and eat and have helped small businesses stay afloat.
“People love it and for us, it’s just another avenue to support local businesses, to create new opportunities for these ‘mom and pop’ small businesses that we work with,” said Mike Oz, the President of Fresno Street Eats.
Friday marked the kickoff of a new partnership between Fresno Street Eats and the Manchester Center – with hopes of making up for lost business. The mall lost about 20% of its vendors due to the pandemic.
“We’re still the town center of the city and we still want to remind people that Manchester is still open, we’re still a hub for new small businesses, so they have the same goal and purpose that we do, which is to open up a door of opportunities for small businesses,” said Sandra Cortez with Manchester Center.
Cortez says she’s already seen an increase in foot traffic with Friday’s event – with six food vendors taking up a corner in the parking lot at Shields and Blackstone avenues. Even Mayor Jerry Dyer came out to support.
“Quite frankly, we need something to do, people that live in Fresno, we’ve been cooped up the last year or so and just make sure we’re enjoying what Fresno has to offer, so I want to be a part of that as the mayor of this city,” said Fresno City Mayor Jerry Dyer.
Mayor Dyer made sure to dive right in and took his inaugural first bites at the event.
“You know, I looked around and I said, I want to have the most greasy food there is, the most delicious, so I started out with some pizza and then I went over and had a couple tacos.”
The new partnership is ongoing and the food truck event will be at Manchester Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday.