Lumen - The University of Adelaide Magazine The University of Adelaide Australia
Lumen Winter 2016 Issue
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Joe delivers a Tour de Fork

Joe Noone

Joe Noone
As the man behind one of Adelaide’s most innovative food events, Joe Noone has literally brought trucks to a standstill. He has delivered over 40 Fork on the Road food truck festivals around the city and suburbs, bringing street food to packed crowds and amassing a following of tens of thousands of passionate food lovers, eager to sit on crates and kerbsides to enjoy some of the city’s tastiest fare. But Joe’s pathway to entrepreneurialism was anything but linear and his day job has nothing to do with food.

Studying a Bachelor of Health Sciences at the University of Adelaide and following a variety of career routes before landing an industry partnerships role in the public service, Joe says that for him it has always been about the journey rather than the destination.

“My role in community and affordable housing is not that far removed from the public health principles I learnt in the first few years of university,” he says.

And it was at uni where Joe says he picked up many of the skills that he uses in his day job and when organising the Fork events – planning, researching, finding out how and why people do things and building relationships.

“These are concepts that hold you in really good stead whether you’re trying to come up with good public policy or you’re organising a food truck event for thousands of people,” says Joe.

His desire to bring people and food trucks together came after visits to the US where he saw the popularity of street food and the strong community vibe it created.

“My idea came about because of the realisation that people talk a lot in Adelaide about how things should be and maybe sometimes we talk too much without action,” says Joe.

The opportunity to stop talking and take action with his first Fork on the Road came when Adelaide City Council’s Splash Adelaide initiative put the call out for innovative city projects.

“I thought that if it didn’t work, I’d try another idea – that’s what entrepreneurialism is about,” he says.

But each event attracted huge crowds and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Three and a half years and 40 Forks later, Joe has delivered events that have the whole city talking through social media and the local press.

Joe says the success of Fork is about “just trying stuff out” and he has some simple advice for others wanting to take the entrepreneurial pathway: “Try something, be flexible, retry it and don’t be afraid to fail – just go, do something, don’t stand still.”

Story by Genevieve Sanchez


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