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Food trucks add variety to restaurant scene

Story by Katie Ericson

Des Moines is known for its strange foods, with zombie themed burgers, Chinese pizza and the Emmenecker challenge. Now Des Moines is taking it one step further.

Started two years ago, The Spot is a food truck specializing in sandwiches and burgers. The two owners — Ben Norris and Hunter Wilson — came up with the concept while tossing around ideas after college.

“As Hunter and I continued to talk, we saw an opportunity in DSM’s market for high-level sale potential,” Norris explained. “The business plan made sense, and six months later, we were actively pursuing financing.”

Oddly enough, Norris said one of the most difficult things to come up with was a name for the company. “Ultimately, we wanted to choose a name that wouldn’t pigeon-hole us as any one genre, but one that had a ‘ring’ to it. ‘The Spot’ is somewhat correlated with ‘the best,’” Norris said. “Basically, as we saw it, if you want good food, we are ‘The Spot.’”

Now, The Spot is a popular on-the-go option for Des Moines residents. They move every day from location to location and offer different sandwiches each day as well.

“Each day yields a different top dog. Every one of our sandwiches has been a top seller on one day or another,” Norris said.

As a local company, The Spot uses as much local produce as possible and tries to have as healthy and environmentally friendly a menu as possible.

However, Norris said running a food truck is a very complicated process.

“Every day, you have to transport your entire kitchen, food, supplies, resources and workers,” Norris said. “There are certainly benefits for food trucks. For example, if one place doesn’t work out, you can drive down the street and simply find another spot however, both present their own set of challenges and benefits.”

The Spot does move locations often. Norris said the Confluence Brewing Company is one of their most popular spots since customers can buy a beer and sit at the restaurant or purchase their drink and food on the go.

To keep up with the moving locations, customers can keep track of their trips on Facebook or Twitter.

Food trucks are a quite different experience from traditional restaurants, though.

Senior Tessa Betchwars said her experience was new, but enjoyable.

“I’ve eaten at a taco truck and a mac-n-cheese one, and they were both really good.”

Junior Haley Hicks agreed.

“Food trucks are a new thing that’s starting to pop up everywhere, but they’re really cool and easy to eat at, so I like it,” Hicks said.

While The Spot is closing down for the winter season after this Saturday, Norris is hopeful for the upcoming year. “Time will tell where this will take us, but we are enjoying the ride along the way.”

The Spot will be open all of spring, summer and fall 2014 at its various locations around Des Moines.


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