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Food truck season is gearing up in Helena

Posted at 2:15 PM, Apr 04, 2024

HELENA — Smoothie bowls, seafood, and burgers - the options for food trucks in Helena seem endless.

With temperatures on the rise, many of them are revving their engines for the season.

"We got a lot of feedback from customers, and...they were super excited to have us back. They're craving it over the winter, and so was I," said Jake Samuelson, who co-owns Mountain Berry Bowls.

He and his wife opened the Helena location three years ago, and this week, they kicked off their 2024 season.

Even though they have the option to open a brick-and-mortar location, the Samuelsons have found that food trucks are better for them.

"I like the nostalgia of the food truck, just street food. You can come, park real quick, and come out and order different types of food," Samuelson said.

Mountain Berry Bowls worker

Another reason food truck owners prefer to stay mobile is because their business can reach many different areas.

"With how expensive things are, it seems like food trucks are kind of the thing right now. You have the ability to move and go wherever you want. Obviously, cost for rent is pretty crazy in Montana right now," said Kyle Taranto, who works for Peeler's Wild Alaska Seafood.

Peeler's Wild Alaska Seafood is a team of three men who drive their trucks year-round to 90 cities across Montana, Idaho, and North Dakota.

Peeler's Wild Alaska Seafood truck

Their friends and family catch the seafood in Alaska, which is transported to them after being flash-frozen.

Peeler's Wild Alaska Seafood stops in Helena roughly once a month.

Taranto said, "[They] started doing the cart because we can sort of set up wherever."

Food trucks must have all the regular business and restaurant licenses and permits.

They can park on any public road, at parks with a city permit, or at businesses with their permission.

Frozen shrimp

The food trucks owned by Chris Starr are also community staples.

"I enjoy cooking and creating, and I enjoy people," Starr said

Starr owns the Rockstarr BBQ and Heleburger food trucks, which stay open year-round depending on the weather.

He started the businesses out of trucks because he likes the flexibility.

Heleburger truck

Starr said, "Versatility. We can be anywhere, anytime."

Starr also enjoys the one-on-one connections a food truck gives between the customers and workers.

"You're really more front line. You're right there with your customers instead of hidden tucked in the back," he said.

Even though Starr got his start in food trucks, he hopes to open a brick-and-mortar location within the next few years.

He already owns the property and has been working with an architect.

You can keep up to date with the hours and locations of Heleburger here.

Peeler's Wild Alaska Seafood has a text service that lets you know where and when they will be in town. You can find where to sign up here.

The best way to keep track of Mountain Berry Bowls's location and hours is through its social media.