Living in Portland, it’s easy to forget that not every town offers an array of global cuisine served from a series of small mobile kitchens. But while we wolf down our organic falafel and cart-pressed espresso, the growing food cart world has been watching and hungrily taking notes. 

As a hotbed of several hundred food carts, Portland has been chosen as the home of the inaugural Roam Mobile Food Conference, a gathering of mobile food vendors featuring industry leaders, presentations, strategy sessions, and of course, an abundance of amazing nosh.  

Roam attendees choose between two tracks:

  • The “Start-Up Boot Camp” serves as a crash course for aspiring food cart owners, covering topics such as permitting, menu planning, marketing, and creating custom vehicles.
  • The “Owner’s Summit” is geared towards existing businesses, community advocates, and urban policy makers. This track includes increasing sustainability, improving business practices, and expanding to brick and mortar. 

Attendees of both tracks are invited to a food cart lunch and a private VIP dinner at the Rose City Food Cart Pod. 

The trailblazing convention has attracted the attention of mobile food businesses from across North America—participating presenters include representatives from the Washington DC-based Institute for Justice, the NYC Food Truck Association, the Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association, and Portland’s own Grilled Cheese Grill. Industry expert Richard Myrick will also be in attendance to offer advice and sell his book, “Running a Food Cart for Dummies.”

The conference rolls into town on Saturday, September 14. Mobile food fans (and aspiring cartrepreneurs) can send questions to info@roamconference.com, or register here