New Durham commissary a huge boost to Triangle food truck scene

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The commissary is a game changer for the Triangle food-truck scene.

The biggest food truck commissary in the state is getting ready to open its doors in Durham next week.

It's big enough to host 50 food trucks, and this kitchen space will have a huge impact - especially on the Raleigh food truck scene.

Sounds of clean-up and construction fill the air. After all the equipment is ready to go, this large empty space will be divided by pantry shelves and tables to create dozens of food truck commissary kitchens.

But what exactly is a food truck commissary?

"With the health department you have to have an approval facility to produce your food, to store your food, to dump your gray water, to dump your grease," explained Will Pettis, owner of Will and Pop's Commissary.

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Most food trucks rent kitchen space from restaurants - and that can be pricey - so this commissary is changing the game, especially for Raleigh food truck owners.

"We don't have a commissary for food trucks in Raleigh," said Jennifer Martin of Shop Local Raleigh. "So by trade, we're forcing a lot of them to come to Durham anyways. A lot of them are permitting out here, they're searching for commissaries, so in the end I think it will only help our economics because they will be able to sell more and do more business in Raleigh."

And they're hoping it'll bring the cost down for customers, now that the commissary can provide wholesale buying power.

But the collaboration doesn't stop there.

Once they're done with construction and ready to go here they hope to expand by providing services for people who are interested in running a food truck to get them up and going.

"It's creating a community between all of our trucks that we can all work together, we can share events, we can help each other, we can pick events up from each other, we can share our staff," Pettis said.

Shop Local Raleigh says it'll keep the competition strong and food standards high, but the owners here say it's just what they're about.

"It's just been always important to me, as I've been here to do the best that I can to help others help our community and bring jobs," Pettis said.

Martin added: "I hope, long-term, we're able to see projects like this in Wake County happen, and that we're able to look and see what Durham is doing of how can we bring this to Raleigh too."

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