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Food Trucks Bring Philly to Kennesaw

Champion Cheesesteaks is taking food service on the road.

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.

Cris Eaton Welsh May 13, 2012 at 12:08 PM
So sorry Mr Brostrand thinks the city moved too slowly. The final ordinance was passed last week. One of the main hold ups were two changes he wanted to see made. We moved as quickly as the process would allow.,to my knowledge we are the first municipality outside the perimeter to embrace food trucks. The dinner at the depot was started because the city of Kennesaw and the downtown development authority are excited to have food trucks here. The food truck park on Howell Mill to my understanding is having quite a few challenges because the ordinance was not thorough and there were some misunderstandings on what was permitted and not permitted. I believe it resulted in the park being temporarily shut down while the misunderstandings were ironed out. I would prefer to be thorough and get it right the first time and am very happy with the way our ordinance turned out. I thank Mr Brostrand for his input on helping the city put together the ordinance. Good luck to you.
Dave L May 13, 2012 at 11:02 PM
I want to thank Roy for his participation in Kennesaw's Dinner at the Depot. When the program began last year Roy was quite helpful in getting some trucks to participate. With Roy's assistance The Kennesaw Downtown Development Authority (KDDA) was able to quickly jump into the Food Truck phenomena. Once the City and KDDA realized the long term potential, the process to frame the concept in a clear, complete and detailed structure was launched. As Councilwomen Welsh alluded, the City worked to make sure a business friendly and consumer protective ordinance was established. Compiling input from all the necessary entities was pursued in earnest and a solid ordinance was written and then passed by Mayor and Council. The result enables Kennesaw to continue to lead the way in bringing Food Trucks to families outside the Perimeter. We hope all come join us at the Depot in Kennesaw every Monday 5:00-8:00, weather permitting, through the end of October. Friend us on Facebook - Dinner at the Depot. Dave Lyons, KDDA Chairman

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