Portland’s Food Cart Revolution

The Book

A book documenting – through stories and photography – the perfect storm of Portland’s independent culture, artisan economy, and foodie scene that created the street food revolution.

Excerpts from the book

“Street food has existed all over the country for decades in the form of hot-dog vendors, taco trucks, and the like. What makes Portland’s street food scene so distinctive and appealing—is the way vendors continually push the genre’s traditional boundaries, so that today, entire food cart villages have laid down roots and offer increasingly sophisticated and varied cuisine. After all, how many other places can you sample white truffle sea- salted fries, salmon fettuccini, perfectly seasoned Pad Thai, and the city’s best espresso—all from a street vendor selling out of a bicycle, a truck, or even a World War II military mobile kitchen?”

“Artisanal, quirky, independent, and an exceptionally good value, the food carts are in many ways the perfect symbol of what Portland is all about. They bring the local community together with the lure of good food, and the pod system has enabled vendors to create a strong cooperative ethic among themselves. It’s fair to say that the food carts both stem from Portland’s famed livability and contribute to it, forming a virtuous cycle of sorts.”

About the Authors

Kelly Rodgers and Kelley Roy have been collaborating on projects since they first met in 2001. Their bond runs deep: sometimes they complete each others’ sentences and communicate via ESP. Kelly without the second E can be spotted riding around Portland on her trusty bicycle and Kelley with the E can be seen zipping around on her scooter Petunia. They both emerged from the world of urban planning relatively unscathed and now are making it their life mission to make cool stuff happen in Portland. Kelly without the E is an ideas person and often waves her hands around in wild gesticulation to draw an “air picture” of her thoughts. Although undiagnosed, Kelley with the E suffers from a disorder that does not allow her to do just one thing at a time; she suspects the extra E in her name may be responsible.

and now for the official story…

Kelley Rodgers is the principal of Confluence Planning. Since moving to Portland in 1995, Kelly has worked in a variety of areas to support the development of a sustainable city, including neighborhood planning, green infrastructure, community design, renewable energy, and sustainable transportation. In other words, she has been working to create cities where people know their neighbors, where resources are used efficiently, where people don’t have to get in the car to meet their basic needs, and where it’s possible to work collaboratively on creative energy, food, and housing solutions. Kelly’s relationship with food carts began simply as a cartivore, but her interest was piqued further by their rapid growth and their increasingly elaborate street presence.  She has grown to appreciate food carts not only for their architectural personality and contribution to street life, but also for their role in the artisan economy.

Kelley Roy is the Founder and Owner of ADX and Portland Made, and has been working for the past 5 years to grow Portland’s Maker Movement. She consults with the people from around the world to create Makerspaces, like ADX, in their communities. Kelley has become a globally recognized leader in the Maker Movement and is helping to put Portland Makers on the international map. She co-authored Cartopia: Portland’s Food Cart Revolution in 2010, has a graduate degree in Urban Planning and an undergraduate degree in Geological Sciences. Kelley’s passion is helping creatives hone their skills, start their own businesses, and make a living doing what they love.

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