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Iconic U.S. hot-dog cart manufacturer goes high-end

Iconic U.S. hot-dog cart manufacturer goes high-end

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Retrofitting high-end food trucks is the future plan for the oldest bike manufacturer in the U.S., Worksman Cycles.

The oldest bike and vending cart manufacturer in the U.S., Worksman Cycles, is shifting it's business strategy.

Ever wonder where those high-end food trucks come from?

A recent MBA graduate shows up with a graphic designer, a "vintage" (second-hand) food truck, and a passionately calculated business strategy, according to Bruce Weinreb at Worksman Cycles.

Weinreb told Nicola Twilley of Edible Geography that Worksman Cycles is moving away from the low-margin hot-dog cart circuit. With invoices for $40,000 to $100,000 for food truck retrofits, this classically American manufacturer might forget it's slow uptake on the cycle rickshaw market in New York City.

Twilley toured the historic factory, pointing out that these high-end food trucks appear in a long lineage of iconic all-American food carts, including the Good Humor ice cream tricycle and the New York City hot dog cart.

It’s amazing to trace back New York City’s fleet of shiny steel food carts to this blue-lit, family-run, slightly ramshackle factory in Queens — a vital node in the peripheral, static infrastructure that enable the city’s mobile economy to function.

For generations of immigrants to the U.S., food carts became the first micro-entrepreneurial step toward the "american dream". Both Goldman Sachs of Sachs Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale's rose up from the street vending business.

Worksman continues to shape the visual and edible landscape of U.S. streets - and each product is made to order with almost no automation.

Founder Morris Worksman had a dream to clean New York streets of the 2.5 million pounds of horse manure produced, per day, in 1900. It appears the dream paid off.

[via Edible Geography]

Images: Edible Geography; Worksman Cycles

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Sonya James

Contributing Writer

Sonya James is a multimedia producer based in New York. With creativity and innovation in mind, she speaks to diverse voices on topics from racism in the art world to the patriotic nature of southern food. She holds a Masters Degree in Community Development. Disclosure