Black Food Truck Festival CEO Marcus Hammond sees community through cuisine

Marcus Hammond is the CEO of the Black Food Truck Festival

Food trucks have seen an increase in popularity over the years, and can commonly be found at music festivals and outdoor events during the summer months. But after seeing a lack of diversity in the food festival space in different areas, Marcus Hammond, a purveyor of food and festivals, created the Black Food Truck Festival, a family-oriented event featuring many of the most popular food trucks in the Charleston, South Carolina, region.

When did you know you wanted to create this festival?

I live in Charleston, and I was at a food truck festival and it was dope. It was a few years before we actually got ours off the ground. It was well organized and food trucks were everywhere, but there weren’t a lot of people that looked like me. So I looked around and I got bored. They were playing country music, but it was a bunch of stuff culturally that I didn’t rock with. It was at that moment I said, “Man, what if we were able to do this and give it our own vibe and our own flavor?” This was around 2019, and I thought about the Black Food Truck Festival. Fast forward to the pandemic, and the moment I knew that I was going to do it is when I looked up the domain name, and it was still available. I told myself I was going to do this however I can get it done.
How do you get all the food trucks to participate?

First, you’re the hunter and then you’re the hunted. During the first festival, we had to pitch this idea to get them to come because it’s business, so they want to make sure that people are there who can taste their product and be able to buy food and they’re able to make money and have an economic impact on [their] business. We look for all these different food trucks who want to be a part of it and I think what draws them in is the name. They hear the name and they’re like, “This sounds like something that people will go to and it sounds like something that we want to be a part of.”

At the first festival we maybe only had seven or eight food trucks, and then after that, you’re the hunted and people know that you have a proven concept. People are going to show up, the music is going to be dope, and everybody is going to be looking good. Now everybody wants to be a part of it. Not only is it an opportunity to make money, but it’s an opportunity to be around your people and market your business.

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