The grin of delight that split the face of three-year-old Crosby Hennessey as he was handed a plate of mini-corn dogs from the Yum-Yum Hut would have put the Gerber baby to shame.
Hennessey, his big sister Hattie, 6, and their mother Carrie were visiting the Duluth Public Library when they walked into "Food Truck Friday," a weekly event with local food trucks parked in the pavillion of the library during lunch hour. When the Budgeteer visited last Friday, two local food trucks, Chow Haul and the Yum-Yum Hut, were busy with customers salivating for wontons or sweet apple pretzel bites.
"This is actually our first time at Food Truck Friday," Carrie Hennessey said. "We come to the library a lot, so we thought we'd try it out."
City Counselor Emily Larson was one of the first advocates of Food Truck Friday at the library.
"People talk about it. They're excited about the idea that you can stroll down there, bring your kids, get a book and then have some really delicious food," Larson said. "It's an option people wouldn't ordinarily think about."
Larson was an author of the food truck ordinances of Duluth, which then led the way to Food Truck Friday.
"We set out to create opportunities for mobile food vendors to sell their work. I worked closely with Chow Haul and the Rambler to get things going," she said. "That sparked the idea to create an opportunity for multiple food trucks to get together and sell their work, because there is this synergy that happens."
The Chow Haul, serving an assortment of dishes that include wontons and other fried delicacies, is a local food truck that has been involved with Food Truck Friday since its inception. Founder Samara Heim calls the simplicity of food trucks their virtue.
"Good food is often found in food trucks because they have only one job — to make good food," Heim said.
The happiness brought to customers by the food served on Food Truck Friday is matched by the love put into it.
"We're small business. We are entrepreneurs trying to spread our happiness and share our passion for food," said Michael Goar, owner of the Yum Yum Hut.
The truck that regularly serves up fried goodness, both sweet and savory.
"I get super excited when people come up to the window and pay for what I've made, and that fuels my passion," Goar said.
Food Truck Friday has become a tradition for some busy downtown dwellers.
"In the office, we decided to make it a regular thing," said customer Embie Hoff, as she was collecting her Goodwill coworkers orders. "We just want to have something different for lunch."
Larson comes back for the food truck cuisine for the same reasons as Hoff.
"The fun of food trucks is that they often present a few items that you can't get anywhere else," Larson said. "I also love something that has an extra twist."