Food trucks now offering lunch with a view in east Pasco

By Marilou Shea

By the time you read this, The Food Pointe at the Port of Pasco will have launched its new lunch program in east Pasco.

Marilou Shea, Food Truck Academy

Marilou Shea,
Food Truck Academy

Yep, that’s right folks, another food truck pod is live in the Tri-Cities.

Food trucks will serve up lunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday near 904 Ainsworth Ave.

Hosted by the Port of Pasco, the new Food Pointe program, which launched with lunch on Oct. 2, could add a first-time breakfast service based on demand.

An appetizing loyalty program will begin in the next few weeks with specials for returning customers.

Why should you care? Well, for one thing, food trucks are local on every level and the dollars you spend to grab fast, fresh, cheap food stays in our community. Food trucks hire local people, source their food and supplies from local stores and sell to you, the local customer. They also create tax revenues for municipalities, stimulate job growth, tourism and entrepreneurship.

The primary driver behind creation of The Food Pointe is the port’s proactive response to tenants’ requests for food options in the heart of the industrial area known as Big Pasco.  There are 100-plus tenants with 300 to 400 employees hungry for convenient, fresh and slow food served in a jiffy.

“We’re really looking forward to having the food trucks so close to our office. It’s going to be a great convenience for our employees and employees of other companies in and around the Port area,” said Federico Chavez, regional division manager of Propak Corp., a Port of Pasco tenant.

Establishing a food truck program to provide lunch service to the port’s primary customer base also aligns with the port’s mission: fostering economic development in Pasco.

“Creating a food truck pod of our very own checks off economic development drivers for us like supporting small business entrepreneurs and fostering job creation and diversification in our community,” said Gary Ballew, the port’s director of economic development and marketing. “Our primary goal is to satisfy our tenants’ need for lunch.  That we’re able to support our mission at the same time is pretty awesome.”

To the naked eye, the food pod site appears to be a plain, open field — but don’t be fooled.

The port has invested $15,000 in enhancements to date such as multiple electrical outlets for various power needs and individual water pumps for food truck vendor convenience.

In addition to adding infrastructure, the port is supporting the program by investing marketing dollars to promote participating food truck vendors to entice truck traffic along the Highway 397 corridor and the public.

For truckers, a wide turnabout at the location with easy on and off access on Highway 397 makes grab-and-go lunch a reality.

The public also can enjoy the weekday lunch program when many food truck programs are winding down for the season.

All who visit The Food Pointe are treated to an expansive Columbia River view as an added bonus. Sounds like a recipe for success to me.

The rotating all-star line-up of food truck vendors includes Delicios on Wheels, Eat Hot Tamales, Fast and Curryous, Idalia’s Tamales, Rex’s Top Shelf and Swampy’s BBQ.

Find The Food Pointe on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

[panel title=”About Marilou Shea:” style=”info”]
Food Love columnist Marilou Shea is the creator of Food Truck Fridays and adjunct faculty at Columbia Basin College’s Food Truck Academy.

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