You don’t have to be a cowboy rustle up some grub in this rodeo, you just have come hungry.
For those hoping to corral a quick bite of chow, a food truck rodeo is stationed at the corner of Fire Tower Road and Evans Street daily, during lunch and dinner hours.
In the midst of the global pandemic, these Greenville vendors are helping make it easier to grab a quick bite and go while trying to keep their business afloat.
Sparky’s Snowballs, The Bread Lady, Smashed Waffles and the Red Hot Mobile Cafe are some of the trucks to be found in the ring, offering up an alternative to cooking at home.
Since a state mandate that all restaurants and bars close to dine-in customers to help slow the spread of COVID19, many restaurants in Greenville are offering on-site take-out and curb-side pickup. Some have closed their doors indefinitely.
For those seeking comfort food, Sparky’s Snowballs serves funnel cakes and fried Oreos, along with traditional snow cones.
The Red Hot Mobile Cafe offers an array of everything from hot dogs and hamburgers, to fish and chicken strips.
According to Robert O’Neal of Sparky’s, this provides a dual service, one to the community and one to the food truck industry.
Because most upcoming festivals have been called off, these canceled events mean canceled paychecks for food truck vendors that rely on events for their livelihood.
“With the ‘no gathering’ policy and events being canceled, we have nowhere [else] to go to stay afloat,” O’Neal said.
His carnival fare provides a brief respite to the otherwise somber atmosphere in Greenville.
Owners of the Red Hot Mobile Cafe, Diane and Richard Parker said they hope to be back on the corner lot by Tuesday.
In an interview Saturday evening, Diane said she was having a hard time finding enough food in the grocery stores to keep her supplies stocked.
She usually buys from Sam’s or Fred’s in Greenville and said they recently have been out of the food items they need.
And, because many of stores are limiting some things she buys to one per customer, like packages of beef, it makes stocking up difficult, she added.
Diane said the Red Hot Mobile Cafe will be back soon, even if she is not able to offer her full menu.
According to O’Neal, Mike Rogister of Rogister and Associates owns the corner lot and has offered it to food truck vendors to have a common place for selling their “vittles.”
Rogister advertised the food truck rodeo on his Facebook page with the following message, “Please no congregating. Get your food and eat in car or take home!”
One of Rogister’s followers commented, “This is awesome! Locating food as a first responder is difficult during this time and I’m not exactly the best cook. Thank you for doing this!”
The vendors had hand sanitizer close by and all wore gloves as they serve food.
No seating was available, so customers were encouraged to get it and go.
“Case” the Barber, a barber at Mo’s Barber Shop, visited the food truck rodeo last week.
“I think this is a great idea. During this pandemic, the community has to pull together more and find ways to do it. This is a smart way to do it,” he said.