Food Trucks in Salem are Tasty and Trendy


It's likely that you are at least somewhat familiar with Guy Fieri's TV show, "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives." What about food carts and food trucks; sometimes referred to as, "mobile cuisine?" Which culinary category do these fit? Salem Magazine: Food Trucks

You might be surprised to know that in 2015, according to Food Truck Industry statistics, the food truck industry is on the rise transacting over 1.2 billion dollars in sales last year. According to this latest report, in 2015 the average annual revenue for a food truck operation was $290,556. With these factors combined with food truck industry revenue increases of 12.4 percent over the last five years, its no wonder why small business practitioners have considered, planned, and realized their mobile culinary dream. From a patron perspective, food truck popularity is expected to continue on its upward trajectory over the next few years.

In Salem, we do have our share of food trucks and food carts, too. Recently, I was informed about a food truck grand opening event to take place just behind Barrel and Keg at the corner of Broadway NE and Market Street. I learned that Trish and Mike Dowell were planning the Grand Opening of their newly renovated food truck: Cherry City Sweet Spot. When I caught wind of this upcoming bacchanal, I knew I had to track down the Dowell's. Indeed, they were about to embark upon a super-scary thrill ride I like to refer to as, "starting a business," but nonetheless they were anxiously excited and abundantly optimistic about their new sweet endeavor.

Salem Magazine: Trish DowellThere were a few things I noticed from the get-go. First, although Cherry City Sweet Spot does augment their mobile menu with tasty soups and mouthwatering wraps, their benchmark fare is primarily that of delectable homemade desserts. I asked Trish, "Why lead with sweets such as cookies, brownies, pies, and other specialty desserts rather than distinctive food dishes? "I have been a baker since childhood, it's my passion. Also, we wanted to offer a unique menu to give diners more choice."

Salem Magazine: Mike and Trish DowellIn conjunction with their unique food truck fare, their food truck is not so much a food truck at all. (At least not in the traditional sense.) Mike told me, "Cherry City Sweet Spot is a uniquely retro-fitted 1968 camp trailer which was gutted out and transformed into our food trailer."

Naturally from an business start-up perspective I had to ask Mike about food truck start-up costs. He told me, " Is was a few thousand to get our food truck business going. Certainly, starting a food truck is not as expensive as starting a restaurant, but those wishing to get started should expect to invest around $10,000."

Before departing Cherry City Sweet Spot's, "Grand Opening," I wrapped up my conversation with owners, Trish and Mike Dowell. I ask them, "Why Salem?" Trish said, "Salem is up and coming with the food trucks. Plus, Salem is the only town that I know of that has its own food truck association." Mike said, "Yes, in Salem food trucks seem to be popping up all across town. Salem is unique like no other city in Salem Magazine: Barrel and KegOregon when it comes to diversity per capita. Trish and I believe Salem's diversity desires are also connected to how and what they eat. Food cart locations are a great way to give Salem food truck foodies fresh menu alternatives while stimulating in a sense of community."

Cherry City Sweet Spot is current located just behind Barrel and Keg at 1190 Broadway St NE, Salem, OR 97301 (See map)

So, Salem's Food Truck Foodies ... Let's Eat! :-)

We graciously wish Trish, Mike, and Cherry City Sweet Spot all green lights!



Myrick, R. (2016). 2015 Food truck industry statistics show worth Of 1.2B. Retreived from