by Lorie Lewis Ham
What is Fresno Street Eats? We chatted with their founder and president, Mike Osegueda, recently to learn just that! If you are looking for good food and good fun be sure to read on!
KRL: What exactly is Fresno Street Eats?
We started as a monthly event in 2019, but when the pandemic hit, Fresno Street Eats became more of a food-truck booking agency and food-truck marketing company. During that pivot, we started to create daily food truck hubs in different parts of Fresno/Clovis, plus we started partnering with various businesses to bring food trucks to their employees. Our goal remains to bring food trucks closer to where people live and work, while also creating more opportunities for our local food trucks.
As we — fingers crossed – start to come out of the pandemic, we’re focusing on larger events and festivals again, which is where my event history actually started. The idea is to encompass all these things, plus help other organizers and companies with their events.
We’ve been lucky enough to become an official partner of Fresno State Athletics, partner regularly with great companies like Tioga Sequoia Brewing Co., the Fresno Grizzlies, Fresno Chaffee Zoo and many more, plus we’ve been trusted by the likes of Amazon, Saint Agnes, Community Medical and the City of Fresno to handle large-scale corporate catering.
KRL: How did you come up with the idea?
Mike: My first foray into events was creating Taco Truck Throwdown with the Fresno Grizzlies and FresYes Fest with Tioga Sequoia. Back then, I wanted to create my own event team that could help me execute day-of logistics and organization. That was the original aim of Fresno Street Eats. But I figured, while we did that, we should also make our own events within the brand. Originally, our events were monthly themed events, where we’d ask our food trucks to push their creativity with exclusive, one-night-only items that fit themes like Mac & Cheese, Breakfast for Dinner and Pizzafied. Those events were a hit, and that’s how Fresno Street Eats as people know it was born. I’ve always been about creating community, either virtually as a long-time journalist/blogger/digital media guy, or in the form of food events. I think Fresno Street Eats is the perfect intersection of that with our widely followed digital platforms and our popular in-person events.
KRL: How many food trucks are usually involved and how is that decided?
Mike: Our regular daily events have anywhere from 6 trucks to 15 trucks, depending on the day. Finding the right number of trucks is mostly trial and error — I make the schedules every week based on the trucks’ availability and preferences, and have tried to hone the right number of trucks for each location. Saturdays at Sierra Vista is usually our largest event, with more than a dozen trucks each week.
KRL: What are some of the food trucks at your events?
Mike: There are more than 70 food trucks that operate within our network at this point, so it’s hard to list them all without hurting anybody’s feelings, but some of the more popular and well-known trucks that work with us are: Where’s the Food, Get Baked, Spicy Birdz, Gastro Grill, Cinnamon Roll Shack, Yosemite Lemonade, Yosemite Corndogs, Dab Tacos, El Premio Mayor, Taqueria Jalisciense, Rolling Donut, Sno Cafe and so many more. Plus, we have lots of newer trucks that have joined our ranks, in many times we’ve worked with them behind the scenes to help get their trucks launched too. That includes Duck Haus, Luigi’s Italian, Tepp on Wheels and more.
KRL: Where all do you go?
Mike: Different locations every day. Our current weekly schedule includes: Tuesdays in NW Fresno at North Pointe Church, Wednesdays in Central Unified at the Teague Community Center, Thursdays at The Well in North Fresno and at Shaw & McCall in Loma Vista, Fridays at Simonian Farms in Sunnyside and Saturdays and Sundays at Sierra Vista Mall. We also book the food truck calendars at Tioga Sequoia and Crow & Wolf. For lunches, we go to Fresno City College, the Fresno County campus in Clovis and California Eye Institute every day. We also have a number of partners that we work with sporadically or more on a monthly basis.
KRL: How do you decide where you go?
Mike: Mostly I want geographic diversity. I wanted to get to places that food trucks didn’t previously go, like Sunnyside, Central Unified, and Loma Vista. I look for strong partnerships with other folks looking to build community in the Central Valley — and people who are hungry.
KRL: Is there a specific schedule each month where you go to certain areas at specific times or does that change?
Mike: Yeah, it’s mostly explained above, but some of the events that happen once-per-month that aren’t included there are the 559 Night Market in Chinatown (the last Friday of each month), Tacos Brews & Jams (a taco event at Tioga monthly), the Clovis Street Fair (a monthly block party), the Brewery District Block Party (a monthly block party).
KRL: How and when did you end up starting Sanger Street Eats?
Mike: We’d been looking for a location in Sanger for over a year, before one of our venue managers met up with the folks at Bethel Church. We’ve been there twice now and are looking to build out a consistent schedule there. We also did another installment of Sanger Street Eats at House of Pendragon brewing and intend to do that more often too.
KRL: How can people know about your events?
Mike: Mostly social media, but also word of mouth and traditional media outlets, like radio and TV news. I think a lot of folks bring out their friends. Also, we try to be in pretty visible areas, so a lot of people are probably just driving by and stop to join us for a bite to eat.
KRL: Any chance of expanding into other towns like Reedley?
Mike: Yeah, we’d love to. It’s just about finding the right venues/partners.
KRL: Where can people find you online and stay up to date with when and where you will be?
KRL: What do you have coming up the rest of this month and in June?
Mike: In additional to our daily locations, some of the special events are:
– Tacos Brews & Jams on May 19
– Clovis Street Fair on May 20
– Roar & Pour with Chaffee Zoo on May 20
– 559 Night Market on May 27
– Brewery District Block Party on May 28
– Most of these, except Roar & Poar, also repeat in June, with different dates and themes, where applicable. Our themed events at Tioga are the second Friday of each month, June theme TBA.
KRL: Anything you would like to add?
Mike: We love everyone for supporting local food trucks. Most of them are very, very small businesses and seeing people support them and build a community around them is rewarding. Our goal is always to put the food trucks first and help their businesses grow.