The food industry has historically been a tough field—but while hitting the road used to mean quitting, for others it is just the beginning.
“I think people figured out they can go create their own business, create their own job, create their own life and do what they really like to do,” Mike Gallicchio, co-owner of Titan Trucks said. “That’s why the food truck thing really took off.”
Gallicchio, a veteran in the food truck industry got his start in the field in 2011 when he created the Columbus Food Truck Festival. After seeing the industry soar thereafter, Gallicchio said he and his business partner Neil Hertenstein decided to be a part of the boom from its beginning—the creation of the truck.
“[Building trucks] is another extension of what I’ve already been doing,” Gallicchio said. “It’s fun to take someone’s vision and help them build it.”
Since its inception 3 years ago, Titan Trucks has made several custom trucks for hopeful business owners including ones like the Ohio Incredible Egg and Barroluco. With help from their great guys on staff, Gallicchio said, Titan Trucks is able to make a truck from scratch with the design, layout and look that the client is looking for in roughly 12 weeks.
“We custom build the trucks—it’s not like we own a car lot that has a bunch of food trucks on it—that is a big misconception about us,” Gallicchio said. “We build a spec, what size you want, what kind of equipment you want, we lay it out for you so you can best make money.”
Their newest project is a 32-foot mobile bus that will replace the cargo- shipping container of Mikey’s Late Night Slice stationed on the outdoor patio of Oddfellows, a bar in the Short North.
“Mikey’s is a big one for us. I think that will be really cool,” Gallicchio said. “I am really excited to build that for him—he’s kind of in the food truck hall of fame.”
The design of Mikey’s will be almost identical to the design of the container now with the only major difference being a slightly smaller shell and, of course, the added mobility that a bus offers.
“I think he just wanted to update their look over there,” Gallicchio said. “And it will be brand new, stainless steel LED lighting, so it’s going to be really nice.”
While Gallicchio admits that Mikey’s is one of the larger projects, tipping a hat to Mikey’s prominence in the Columbus food scene, Gallicchio said he admires the sense of diversity in the food truck industry.
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“Other than [Mikey] there’s really no other pizza food trucks, there’s no hamburger food trucks, which is strange, right?” Gallicchio said. “We got some great food trucks here and they’re not just like meat and potatoes.”
Among those, Gallicchio mentions Aloha and Ajumama, two local food trucks that contribute to the incredible food scene in Columbus. These food trucks are bringing diverse cultures and menus to the community, he added, and that diversity, growth and uniqueness in the food truck industry is something he only sees growing in the future.
“Columbus has got a very vibrant foodie culture and food truck culture. I don’t see it going anywhere, really,” Gallicchio said. “I think it’s only going to get bigger.”
Meanwhile Gallicchio and Titan Trucks will continue to help small business owners fulfill their dreams of owning their own business and making a profit in the industry.
“We’re not just building a truck for people, you know. I know people personally; I want to see them win,” Gallicchio said. “People want to go out and make their own way and go build their dreams. I guess that’s the American dream.”
The Columbus Food Truck Festival takes place in mid to late August. Gallicchio said the new Mikey’s Late Night Slice truck is expected to be fully complete by Nov. 8