Food Trucks Around Town
by Adam Erace
Drew Crockett of Hub Bub Coffee
On University City’s food truck-lined landscape, the fire engine-red Hub Bub Coffee truck stands out in the quilted aluminum cavalcade. Owner Drew Crockett pours joe from cult Portland roaster Stumptown—one hand on the La Marzocco espresso machine, the other on the phone as he tweets about a recent shipment of Ethiopia Mordecofe or posts news on the arrival of the latest batch of chocolate chip cookies, hot from the ovens of Pub & Kitchen.
Crockett, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005, worked on Wall Street for two years before returning to start Hub Bub last year. “Going to school in Philly made me very familiar with the food truck and food cart scene,” he says. “In New York they take it to another level. I was starting to see higher-end food trucks, not only from the physical attributes of the trucks themselves but also from the food and drink that was being offered. A lot of them rivaled restaurants.”
After several months of planning and a $45,000 investment, Crockett parked his spiffy, speaker-equipped truck on 38th between Spruce and Locust streets in October. But he’s only one member of the new guard of food trucks to class up our corners. Honest Tom’s Taco Shop, also pulling Stumptown to go with its avocado-kissed breakfast tacos, is nearly a year old. Owner Tom McCusker feeds the Drexel crowd between stops at Clark Park farmers’ market and Twitter-communicated locations around town. Taking a more global approach, former Lower Merion High School classmates Peter Berman, Jeff Henretig and Richard Lopatin are slinging Thai-, Indian- and barbecue-inspired tacos on Penn’s campus from their Coup de Taco truck.
The trend shows no signs of slowing down. When lawyer-turned-baker Kate Carrara rolled out Buttercream cupcake truck in August, her peanut butter, red velvet and Ghirardelli ganache-frosted treats became such an instant success she was selling out before she could make it to all of her stops. “I think it’s fantastic,” says Crockett. “Not only for the food truck world but for the city in general. It’s taking an idea that’s been around for a long time and expanding on it in a way that gives Philadelphians a new, fresh option for eating and drinking.”
PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHAEL PERSICO