Food Truck Fan: Kathy Fordham at Fordham Cleaners

Photo credit: frances1972

Kathy Fordham, owner of Fordham Cleaners, recently began renting her parking lot in the evenings to the Azteca Taco Truck. We reached out to her in hopes she would share her experience and she was kind enough to share a beautifully written testimonial. Thank you Kathy!

“Six months ago the phenomenon of the food truck movement was unknown to me.  As the owner of Fordham’s Cleaners, located on the corner of Spring Garden and Chapman – a business that’s been in establishment for 65 years – this unique type of food service wasn’t something remotely within my radar. 

Since that time, I’ve had the good fortune to experience this phenomenon first hand in a very personal and direct way. Four months ago, I was approached by Greg Munning, the owner of Taqueria El Azteca, to set up a food truck in my parking lot. My location was deemed “high potential” due to it’s proximity to the Tasting Room (Wine Bar), Sessions, The Blind Tiger, UNC College Campus and the Coliseum. After doing some rudimentary research, learning about what a hot trend this concept is, I readily agreed . . . And thus a very distinctive food service came into existence right outside my front door.

From day one, what I’ve seen and experienced has impressed and surprised me on multiple levels.  It’s remarkable to watch my parking lot transition to a dining venue at the end of the day.  Gazing at the image of people moving into place to line up for tasty, quality Mexican food as I wind up my day still stuns me.    

Over time, I’ve come to understand that this movement wasn’t just about the food; it was about the total experience.  It’s the outdoor café through a uniquely American lens. It’s a total communal experience.  I noticed how people gathered together; either sitting in folding chairs or standing near the serving counter, while others parked and ate in their cars.  A good number carried out food to eat at one of the neighboring drinking establishments.  I was struck by how people of all ages — families, retirees, young couples and college students – seemed to savor the experience in their own way.  Many people walked over from adjacent neighborhoods, including Sunset Hills and Lindley Park.  Others drove in from a wide array of locations throughout the greater Greensboro area. 

I would often stay into the early evening to have dinner and share in the experience.  The size of the crowd and the interactions were growing exponentially.   Our little corner of the world was energized . . . and people were taking notice.  The food truck was generating buzz that extended throughout the community.  Word of mouth advertising and media coverage was incredible.   

The other benefit, and one that far exceeded my expectations, was the level of exposure the food truck provided to my business.  This has resulted in new customers experiencing our premium quality dry cleaning and other services. 

Needless to say, I am now a big believer in the Food Truck movement.  I’m left to wonder, how anyone can question something that provides such a unique culinary experience, generates powerful communal connections and elevates business for the entire neighborhood.  Talk about the ultimate win-win; well this is it. “

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