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VGCC Announces Four New Classes For Food Truck Entrepreneurs

Vance-Granville Community College’s Mobile Food Truck Entrepreneurship classes return to the college’s Main Campus in Vance County starting in January with four new seminars on food service.

Sponsored by VGCC’s  Small Business Center , students can take all or as many of the classes they choose. Each of the free classes is scheduled in Building 7 on Main Campus on a Monday evening in the months of January through April.

Ray ChowRay Chow, founder of Hibachi Xpress and Catering by Ray, will again serve as the instructor for the series. A graduate of N.C. State University, Chow started Hibachi Xpress restaurant in Cary and expanded to three locations, as well as managing some of his family’s other restaurants in the Raleigh and Wilmington areas. He has worked in restaurants since he was seven years old.

Seven years ago, Chow expanded his restaurant and catering business with the addition of a food truck to participate in different festivals and large gatherings. The popularity of food trucks has grown, and, in 2014, Hibachi Xpress shifted focus towards catering and the food truck business, moving away from the brick and mortar stores.

Chow is also a co-founder of “foosye,” a startup tech company building innovative technology applications tailored to the food truck industry.

The first in the series — “Let’s Get Cooking:  Food Truck or Restaurant?” — will explore the differences in what it takes to start a food truck or a restaurant and continue operating one successfully. The Jan. 14 seminar is designed for those who want to realize their passion to be a small business owner in the food service industry.

The second seminar — “The 10 Hats of a Food Service Entrepreneur” — is being held on Feb. 11. Just because a person has a passion for cooking doesn’t mean he or she will be successful at owning a food truck or restaurant business, Chow said. This seminar will detail the many roles or “hats” entrepreneurs have to be able to juggle to succeed in business.

The March 11 workshop will be devoted to “Food Service Marketing:  Your Customers Can’t Buy From You If They Can’t Find You.” Those exploring the food service industry will have an opportunity to learn the various ways to market their food business to improve their chances of success.

On April 8, the topic of “Keeping Your Food Truck Business Running” will take a closer look at the need for flexibility and proper planning. “Imagine putting wheels on a restaurant you built,” said Chow. “There are things that will fall, slip, break down, move or not work when you add in the mobility of a food truck operation. Learn how things will end up on the floor when you arrive at your destination when not properly secured or planned.”

Participants in the program will also be required to sign up as clients of the VGCC Small Business Center, which is free of charge.

The deadline to register for each class is one week prior to the date of the class. For more information and to register, contact the VGCC Small Business Center at (252) 738-3240 or smallbusiness@vgcc.edu .