Roy Brostrand knows a good Philly cheesesteak sandwich when he sees one. He has been making them for 30 years.
Brostrand is founder and CEO of Champion Cheesesteaks, a business located on Lockhart Drive in Kennesaw near . The franchise business operates food trucks throughout the metro-Atlanta area featuring the Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches, drinks and desserts—including the famous Tasty Kakes, made only in Philadelphia.
"Food trucks are a whole new industry," said Brostrand, who was the founder of the Philly Connection restaurant in 1982, which grew to 250 stores throughout the Southeast. Brostrand sold the business and began the food truck business two years ago.
"I believe food trucks are a trend that's here to stay," said Brostrand, a native of Cherry Hill, NJ. "Food trucks create an economic boom in low-income areas of cities and help build retail areas."
Brostrand said the city of Atlanta has embraced the food truck phenomenon, which began in California. Two weeks ago, a new food truck park opened at Interstate 75 and Howell Mill Road and features 10-14 trucks every weekend.
He said other cities, like Kennesaw, have been slow in allowing food trucks in certain areas. The city does host a Monday night "Dinner at the Depot," which features several food trucks, including Champion Cheesesteaks. Brostrand said he'd like to serve the growing KSU student population. He also wants to do more big festivals and special events.
"Our food is excellent and food trucks are no longer known as 'roach coaches'," said Brostrand, adding health and sanitation requirements are stricter than for many brick and mortar restaurants.
Brostrand said he sees food trucks gaining in popularity because "we take food to you." Another trend is several food trucks with different menus working together at events and business areas. "It's like a moving food court."
For more information on where the big black and red Champion trucks will be, visit www.championcheesesteaks.com.