Mission on a Mission – Operation Food Park

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Being with the Mission EDC for over 16 years, Daniel Silva has certainly seen the city grow —  both in population and in opportunities for business owners.

Upon becoming the CEO of Mission EDC in December 2018, Silva embarked on a mission to bring a savory attraction to the City of Mission. This latest venture is something a lot of residents can get onboard with: Mission Food Park.

“Food truck parks are innovative — they definitely fill a niche,” Silva said. “We project that there is going to be a lot of interest in a food park. The past times that 5×5 Brewing Co. has had events with food trucks here, there’s been a great outcome.”

Mission EDC has always been supportive of entrepreneurs and created their Ruby Red Venture Program specifically to be that relief. Their ultimate goal is to continue to grow a tight-knit community within the CEED building.

“We wanted to provide an opportunity for a location for those who are trying to grow,” Silva said. By providing businesses with a location opportunity with no overhead, they are able to do just that.

The CEED building and Mission EDC has been flexible when it comes to providing food trucks space to operate. The extent of this hospitality and support has not gone unnoticed by Jerry Leal, owner of Pineapple Ninjaz and co-owner of one of his latest projects, Taco Geeks, which highlights regional foods — tacos, elotes, nachos, and aguas frescas.

When Leal discovered the plans in place by Mission EDC, he took the opportunity and has no regrets about choosing the CEED building to house his innovative food trucks. They’ve allowed him the opportunity to be able to train staff, store equipment, and launch his businesses.

“With the city being so supportive and organized, it’s a little difficult to not choose Mission,” he said. “If it weren’t for the support of the CEED building and Mission EDC, we wouldn’t be where we are now.”

Just as it has seen success with the Ruby Red Ventures program — which provides entrepreneurs with opportunities to start a business — Mission EDC aims to provide its community with a food park they’ll enjoy.

Mission Food Park would provide solutions to many of the challenges we are currently faced with, one of them being closed dine-in areas at many restaurants. Having the option to stop by, order food, and eat it al fresco offers a level of safety that restaurants with four walls and a roof cannot currently provide.

Additionally, food trucks provide an extra level of convenience during an emergency such as natural disasters or global pandemics.

“With COVID and the recent aftermath of Hurricane Hanna, people are anxious to get out of the house,” Silva said. “People were left without electricity for days and restaurants were slammed. A food park like this definitely provides the community with additional options.”

Mission Food Park has plenty of open seating areas available at 5×5 Brewery and Jitterz on Bryan, which are looking to expand hours of operation. People can comfortably enjoy food from their favorite food trucks while physically distancing themselves from others.

“We just want to provide a space people can come hang out at and enjoy,” he said. “I think having a variety of food to choose from is a huge perk — there’s something for everyone.”

Silva anticipates a positive outcome as the food park is equipped with amenities like water and enough plugs for 10 food trucks as well as generators for any additional trucks during events. The food park will provide individuals with a family-friendly atmosphere that consists of live music and games, such as cornhole and pickleball.

In the past, 5×5 Brewing Co. has partnered with QweenieRGV, another food truck available at Mission Food Park, for events like Brews & Bends Beer Yoga hosted by Yoga with Ane. Guests were able to participate in a yoga session led by yoga instructor Ane Rodriguez Zamorano then enjoy brews and hotdogs afterward.

Mission Food Park is located at 801 N. Bryan Road in Mission on the north side of the CEED building and is expected to open around late summer/early fall 2020. Food trucks interested in reserving a spot at Mission Food Park may do so for a daily rental of $99 or monthly rentals starting at $450 a month. 

For more information on Mission Food Park and details on reserving your spot, visit missionedc.com or email Daniel Silva at dsilva@missionedc.org.

What food trucks would you like to see at Mission Food Park? #JoinTheConversation at facebook.com/rgvisionmagazine.