With St. Augustine’s population growing at a steady rate and the increasing popularity of food trucks, the St. Augustine Food Truck Co-Op has taken the opportunity to embark on a meaningful culinary endeavor. Founded by owners of YAMO Italian Street Food, Dawn and Jason Watkins, the co-op will set St. Augustine apart in the quest to attract the continually growing ‘foodie’ segment with over a dozen members, including Arepa Life, Wingin’ It, YAMO, German Street Food, Po Boy Paul’s, and Rad Ringo’s Mini Donuts among others.
“There are many benefits to forming a cooperative,” explained Dawn Watkins. “Lower costs and resource sharing is a huge benefit for members. Quality products and ingredients can be expensive, and by ordering in bulk and sharing contacts, these items’ prices can come down significantly. At the same time, by sharing employees, jobs, and ideas for streamlining operating processes, owners will have more time to dedicate toward marketing, scheduling, and planning operations.”
Each co-op member is committed to helping one another by sharing information on everything from recipes and new hires to marketing. Food trucks operating in St. Augustine and other areas of St. Johns County are encouraged to join the co-op and take advantage of all that the group has to offer including, cost reductions, product improvement, community involvement, and more. Members will make invaluable relationships and gain knowledgeable expertise of fellow members and food truck veterans who have been operating for nearly a decade. It is also a priority of the group to encourage environmental awareness by using locally-sourced ingredients and purchasing from resident purveyors selling everything from craft beers to locally-sourced seafood.
“After working side-by-side with fellow food truck owners at events and neighborhoods, we quickly recognized the need to band together,” said Watkins. “Our goal is to develop an organization that is owned and operated by its members while also providing the use of services and products of the cooperative. It is so rewarding to work toward a mutual goal with our community.”
ABOUT ST. AUGUSTINE FOOD TRUCK CO-OP: Founded by Dawn and Jason Watkins, the St. Augustine Food Truck Co-Op is open to food truck operators throughout St. Johns County. The Co-Op will host regular meetings for members, with the next meeting hosted by Cesar Diaz and scheduled for April 25th from 7pm-9pm at Odd Bird’s Bar, 12 Anastasia Blvd., St. Augustine. Interested members can contact [email protected] for more information.