We spoke with Marty himself, owner of Marty’s Waffles food truck, to get his take on why the Springfield Rotary Gourmet Food Truck Competition brings him back year after year. See our question and answer session with Marty below.
Q: How long have you been running your own food truck?
A: We started in the summer of 2013. So, we’re starting our seventh year in August.
Q: You’ve been attending the Springfield Rotary Gourmet Food Truck Competition for five of those seven years, right?
A: We have yes, since the very beginning. It’s definitely one of our favorite events of the year. Just in terms of the Rotary Club, they’re extremely hospitable and it’s probably the kindest, most organized event that we do all year.
Q: So, you’ve definitely watched the competition grow over the years then?
A: Oh yeah.
Q: What would you say is the most popular (or your favorite) item on your menu?
A: Well, my favorite is not on the menu, unfortunately, until the fall, but it’s a big apple waffle pie, sort of a mock apple pie. It’s phenomenal. But, our most popular waffle is the sea salt caramel waffle with a Maker’s Mark bourbon whipped cream.
Q: And you’ll be offering this waffle at the competition?
A: Oh yes. It has never been taken off the menu. It’s one of the few things that never changes.
Q: What are you most excited about for this year’s competition?
A: Well, I just love the location. It’s an ideal location for food trucks. It’s shady, the music is always really good, it’s scenic, people always come with a great attitude and want to eat. Even when it rains, people still hang out and wait in line. It’s just an all-around great place to be.
Q: Is this one of the biggest crowds you see?
A: Oh, well, this is probably in our top five. Taste of Cincinnati is obviously our biggest event, it’s a 3-day event. But as far as food truck rallies go, this is one of the biggest.
Q: You guys have been coming every year and are one of the more popular trucks. What keeps you coming back to this competition each year? And what is it about your truck that makes it such a fan favorite?
A: Well, I would say that the people in Springfield, starting with the people of the Rotary Club, always have their ducks in a row. There’s never been a problem. It’s super organized, everyone’s extremely nice, always coming by the truck, asking if we need anything. We have a few events that are also like that, but this one is hands down the best organized, well-run, community event.
You know, we only see the crowd and these people once a year, but we have people telling us that they come back every year just so they can have Marty’s Waffles. We even have a few customers that come from the Springfield area, down to Cincinnati for holiday orders around Christmastime. It’s a 2-hour drive. It’s just really interesting and I feel privileged to have a product that people think that highly of.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
A: You know, I’d also like to say that the Springfield Rotary Gourmet Food Truck Competition is a very unique food truck event in that there is no other food truck rally (that I’m aware of) that offers a prize package anywhere close to what the Springfield Rotary Club is able to garnish for the food trucks. So, being among some of the best food trucks in the Midwest and being able to compete with those trucks kind of forces you to up your game a little bit. Because no one wants to serve a bad product, but more so, you want to come out on top, you know.
Ready to satisfy your sweet tooth on Aug. 17? Be sure to stop by and try Marty’s Waffles from 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. in Veterans Park. We’ll see you there!