TAMPA Jeremy and Candy Gomez's cellphone keeps ringing. Almost every time they answer, the caller is someone who wants in on their attempt to break a Guinness world record for the number of food trucks operating in one place.
Generation Food Truck, the Gomezes' event-planning company, aims to lure as many trucks as possible to the Florida State Fairgrounds on Aug. 31.
An April rally in Miami at Magic City Casino set the bar with 64 trucks. The goal for Tampa is to assemble more than 100.
"We decided we can do Tampa proud," Jeremy Gomez said. "We've already done rallies in Tampa with 35 to 40 trucks."
Gomez said food trucks at the Funshine Music Festival in May at the fairgrounds were well received. The fairgrounds is an ideal venue for food vendors because of the paved surfaces, access to restrooms and nighttime lighting.
Local bands are being booked to entertain at the August rally, which will run from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission will be $6 for parking, with each truck charging individually for food.
Gomez said he put the word out weeks ago to 168 operators in Florida, including about 45 from the Tampa area. Interest since has crossed state lines. Atlanta's Happy Belly Curbside Kitchen wants to serve its "farm to street" food. Charleston's Cast Iron truck plans to sell its Carolina chopped barbecue. Each operator will pay a $25 to attend.
The Gomezes' own Not Your Ordinary Food Truck also will join the throng, serving an assortment of wild game and exotic meat dishes.
Gomez concedes few if any operators will make money that day, no matter how large the crowd. That includes his own truck.
"But the food trucks are really cool and they all know this," he says. "They just want to be part of the Guinness record."
The phone rings again. He takes the call.
"That was a Jamaican truck from Miami," he said. "They didn't get my email. They just heard by word of mouth that we were doing it and wanted to come. I love finding new trucks."