The Food Truck Scholar

The Food Truck Scholar

The Food Truck Scholar Podcast is where food, business, and stories collide. Each episode host and academic scholar Ariel D. Smith peels back the cultural, social, economic, and political layers of the food truck industry. From Food Network contestants and former bank executives to self-trained and formally trained chefs- The Food Truck Scholar Podcast introduces you to entrepreneurs from all walks life that are ready to feed your mind with tips to start your own food truck, stories that fill your heart, and tempting meal options to fill your stomach.


November 28, 2022 28 mins

It’s been a minute since the last episode dropped, so we are coming in hot!

Today’s guest is Marcus Crawford, co founder and co owner of Bro-ritos. Selected by Parade as one of the top Black owned eateries in the country, Bro-ritos is an award winning brand that started with a food truck and later its first brick and mortar restaurant location serving the NJ and NYC area

Marcus stopped by the sh...

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While many people love food trucks, it’s important not to romanticize their relationship with residents, urban planners, and city officials. Over the years, I’ve researched cities that haven’t found a way to properly position food trucks in a way that supports small business owners, the families they support, and the community that supports them.

Today’s guest is Jordan Rubin owner of Mr. Tuna a wildly popular foo...

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I know one of the major takeaways people often get from my show when it comes to starting their food truck is to step out on faith and do it. However, in addition to faith to launch it, you also have to use logic and reason to sustain it.

I’ve seen many food trucks get into trouble on the business side simply because agreements were not written down. Did you and friend start a business together? Doing yo...

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Food Truck owners are hustlers who make their dreams happen. Today’s guest is a brother that takes that to the next level. To some on social Derrick Wood is the owner of My BBQ Man and a food business coach man but to the residents of Dumfries, VA, he’s also the mayor.

Derrick and I talk about his entry into the food truck industry and public service and how his hustle fueled both


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May 31, 2022 49 mins

Today I’m giving you a followup episode on a guest that has been a fan favorite since season one. I have always gotten messages and comments from people who have been inspired by the story of Patrick Lanier and wanted to know how he’s been. Like many of you who are listening, the pandemic brought the owner of LipSmackin Creations Food Medic in Nashville some challenges. Add to that some tornadoes, inability to se...

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Today’s episode features an entrepreneur that I met through clubhouse and has now got me ready to come to Florida to try these Henny wings and meet my little internet nephew in person. Jeremy “Jerm” Battles and his wife Kaydian Battles are the owners of RightOn Que BBQ in Tallahassee. And Jerm hopped on the mic to share with his journey from being a teacher to a food trucker and the giant leaps of faith and work that went into it.


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All of you are part of The Food Truck Scholar no matter if you’re a listener or guest, but I LOVE when listeners become guests! Shae Cole owner of Sincere Saints in Jacksonville, FL is someone that has listened to the show, went through the process of starting her food truck business at the height of the pandemic, and is continuing to flourish. Today’s episode covers her journey from the Great Resignation to the Big Launch and the ...

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March 22, 2022 50 mins

I know, y'all been wondering where I've been. Well, I got plenty of updates for you!

I'm a moderator for  the Food and Business Summit!
Join sharp like-minded food truck and restaurant owners to develop an ecosystem for success through structure, stability, and security.

With years of experience as a consultant and proven track record of success working with the TOP food trucks and restaurants in Los Ange...

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The Food Truck Association of Georgia is working on a bill to help all food truckers in the state. Call Governor Kemp's office TODAY at 404-656-1776. Share this 5 min episode to all you know. This is HUGE

Over the past 5 years, I’ve  learned a lot about what makes a good food truck stand out among the rest. I took 8 of those key concepts and created a book where I could have curbside conversations with each of you abo...

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January 27, 2022 4 mins

Hey hey! Happy New Year! Did you miss me?

Since 2019, I’ve been asked if I had courses to help food truck owners who were receiving great information from #TFTSPodcast. After studying, building relationships with and visiting over 500 food trucks across the country— I can now say YES!

The Food Truck Scholar  is proud to present Keep Truckin University which will be the hub for live and self-paced courses.

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About The Show
Well y’all we have come to the season 3 finale…can you believe it?! I have so much gratitude for everything that has happened this season and today I share some of those moments with you. From reflecting on highlights of the year, to sharing new products and initiatives, to updates on my academic progress, and what to look forward to in season 4, it’s an exciting time!

New Book by T...

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Today's Show
Within the past year, I’ve received more questions about catering and ghost kitchens in particular. While experiences may vary by person and location, today’s guest utilized ghost kitchens to stay open at the onset of covid but shares with us why his restaurant plans will not include ghost kitchens in the foreseeable future.

Miles Robbins is the founder of FourFortyFour, a catering service in LA that ...

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We’ve heard all about apartment complexes and residential areas that have invited food trucks out to their properties for their residents during and after the height of the Covid pandemic so it’s great to actually speak to the representative of one. Francesca Delguidice is the chief innovation officer Delamerican Real Estate Group for SLX Atlanta and shares why they decided to invite food trucks to the property and share some of he...

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One thing we can all agree on, 2020 changed the world and especially the the food and beverage industry. Food trucks were not immune to that and many questioned if 2021 would a return to the old normal or a continuation of what has become our new normal in society. Tonya Coleman, owner of Chef TLC in Fishers, Indiana asked herself that same question

Earlier this year Chef Tonya came back to the podcast to talk about the i...

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It’s a great day to be from Birmingham, AL because I’m sitting down with one of the hottest food trucks on the area. If you think you got some ride or die customers, I promise Charles Pilot might have you beat. The brother got folks going viral for literally chasing the food truck in street. But for Charles, customers are really family. So today’s episode is all about how he has built a family connection with each person that he en...

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When I’m not talking to food truck owners, I love spending time talking to other food truck foodies. And let’s just say I share similar interests and passions with today’s guest.

Lamount London is not only a music artist with a culinary background, but is also a food truck foodie, especially in his home of New Orleans. Today we share his journey into the culinary arts, how his passion for food and music go hand in hand, th...

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As a food truck owner and entrepreneur, scams are everywhere- In person and digital. On Monday, I hosted a free webinar on protecting yourself again in person scams like counterfeit money and quick change schemes through programming led by Regions Bank. It was during that webinar food truck owner Narissa Saint Fleur shared her experience and questions around cyber hacks that led to me doing my own research on the topic and phone ca...

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The words “vegan,” “plant based” and “dairy free” have become buzz words in the food industry, but they often come with misconceptions about what they are and are not. And furthermore, while many of you have become cognizant of serving your vegan customers, you may be leaving out some great customers- those who are gluten-free. Lucky for you, there’s a doctor in the house that knows all about it and is here to explain it all to you...

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Today’s guest has been part of The Food Truck Scholar fam for a while, but we finally got the chance to connect, and hopefully soon I can try some of his wings with orange soda sauce!

Romeo Calloway is the owner of Pop Ups Mobile Kitchen in Bear, Delaware and has been steadily growing his brand through pop ups and catering as he works his way to a food truck.

In this episode, Romeo shares his experience about navi...

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Less than 10 episodes remain in season 3– can you believe it?!

We’ve had some amazing guests on the show this season and still have a few more stories to bring your way, but today, I felt it was important to update you on some exciting news that’s happening internally that will be great resources for you! Including our collaboration with Regions bank to host a free webinar on Monday October 18th

Thank you EatOkra ...

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