Tampa Bay Business Journal: August 30, 2013

TAMPA - In this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal segment, editor Alexis Muellner discusses how some entrepreneurs rode out the economic recession in food trucks, why the Port of Tampa is boosting its marketing budget, and technology conference for Bay Area geeks.

This summer there were some rumors Bay Area food trucks may be struggling. That could be due to Florida's steamy summer weather. Many potential food truck customers may want to remain inside for air conditioning and because of that owners have to be careful of their budgets.

"My meals have to be carefully planned since we're cooking 16 hours in advance," said Mark Gabrick, owner of the Hogfather BBQ. "Deciding on which events to attend and where to park to serve lunch is a matter of luck, timing, patience and destiny."

Some of the food truck operators the Business Journal spoke to said their business helped them survive the economic recession. They say it just takes lots of research, dedication and long hours to continue to be successful.

The Port of Tampa recently hired Karl Strauch to be the port's vice president of brand development and regional alliances.

His responsibility will be to attract new business through new marketing efforts. For the 2014 Fiscal Year the Port is more than doubling their marketing budget to $1.13 million. Strauch knows it requires spending money to bring in money.

The 2013 BarCamp Tampa Bay invades the University of South Florida on September 28. The technology conference bills itself as "a day by geeks, for geeks and about geeks."

The conference welcomes any type of coding language or platform. More than 1,000 attendees will form sessions and determine topics on that day.

For more information on these stories, click on the video player on the left, visit youtu.be/yJbuPgE6fKA or pick up this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal available on newsstands.

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