About Us

The Food Truck Scholar

The Food Truck Scholar was started by Ariel D. Smith, M.Ed. She a doctoral student in Indiana and a native of Birmingham, AL. Though The Food Truck Scholar covers all food trucks and the food truck industry in general, Ariel’s research is about Black-owned food trucks and their contributions to community empowerment and economic development in Black communities. Her research relies heavily on interviewing Black food truck owners across the country to learn:

  • How they got started
  • What challenges they face in the industry
  • What impact they have made on their communities
  • How her research can influence policy
  • How to create spaces for them to exist with brick-and-mortar
  • Strategies for collaborating with other Black business owners

The Podcast

The Food Truck Scholar Podcast is a weekly discussion about all things in the food truck industry. It was ranked the #1 food truck podcast in 2019 by Feedspot!

Join your host, Ariel D. Smith M.Ed, a Ph.D. student studying the food truck movement in the United States as she discusses food truck civic engagement and activism, ordinances and restrictions, as well as cultural and economic implications of the food truck industry with food truck owners, public policy officials and academic scholars.

Season 2 of #TFTSPodcast is coming March 2020! Want to be a guess next season? Schedule some time to talk!

The Creator

Ariel D. Smith, is a Ph.D. student studying the food truck movement in the United States. More specifically, her dissertation work connects African American food trucks to the Hip Hop industry and culture. A native of Birmingham, AL, Ariel has a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Master of Education from Vanderbilt University. Ariel launched The Food Truck Scholar brand in June 2018 and the podcast in March 2019. Since then, Ariel has presented nationally and internationally on her research while the podcast has reached over 30 countries worldwide.

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