La Chandeleur sells sweet and savory crepes. | Courtesy of La Chandeleur Facebook

Forecastle isn’t just about the music; it’s about delicious food and creative, socially conscious retailers.

This year, Forecastle has added several new vendors to its collection of seasoned food trucks and booth operators, according to information provided by spokeswoman and Forecastle first mate Holly Weyler McKnight.

Sandwiched between retailers Kentucky for Kentucky and Regalo will sit newbie We Are Lions, which sells shirts, tote bags and other items designed by artists with disabilities.

“We’re very excited,” said David Schwartz, founder and chief executive of We Are Lions. “Louisville is very close to our hearts. We are big fans of My Morning Jacket. … We’ve worked with them in the past, and through them, we’ve built some connections in Louisville.”

Schwartz added that the online retailer aims “to provide opportunities to people with disabilities through art.”

In addition to designs available on its website, We Are Lions is selling a Forecastle branded T-shirt by Josh McDivitt-Higgins, a California-based artist who is on the autism spectrum. Merchandise prices range from $20 to $50, with 50 percent of the company’s sales go back to the artists.

Artist Josh McDivitt-Higgins wearing his T-shirt design. | Courtesy of We Are Lions Facebook

While We Are Lions is the only first-time retailer at Forecastle this year, there are three new food vendors, according to Weyler McKnight.

La Chandeleur, The Mac Attack and Steel City Pops are all making their debut this year.

Steel City Pops, which opened a Louisville store a couple of years ago, will be carting around the festival selling cool treats to likely sun-drenched attendees. The Mac Attack food truck, based out of Nashville, sells gourmet macaroni and cheese meals with ingredients like habanero-garlic sausage, kale pesto and mesquite chicken.

La Chandeleur is a locally based food truck that sells mostly savory crepes but offers a Nutella crepe for those seeking something decadent but not depraved.

Owner Kyle Thomas told Insider that he reached out to Forecastle’s management team about being a vendor because “it’s a massive Louisville festival and one of the biggest things we are known for” in Louisville.

He and a team of helpers expect to work long hours to feed the masses and cash in on the crowd.

“From what I’ve heard presales are the highest they’ve ever been, which is exciting,” Thomas said. “I would be ecstatic if I brought in 15 to 20 percent of our annual sales.”

Another vendor, United Catering, will mark its third year at Forecastle; however, it’s switched up what it’s serving from chicken and biscuits to chicken and waffles.

Mike Nusbaum, the owner of United Catering, said the company has sold food at festivals for about five years. At Forecastle this year, United Catering expects to serve an estimated 1,500 to 1,700 people, he told Insider.

“Typically, you grow about 15 percent” each year, Nusbaum said, noting that he will have a rotation of 11 employees working the three-day event.

One perk to working Forecastle — beyond the revenue and exposure — is that the gates don’t open until 1 p.m. or later, so the first shift of workers doesn’t have to show up until around 10 a.m. Peak sales hours are from 5 to 9 p.m., Nusbaum said.

Check out Forecastle’s map online or use its mobile app to find vendors.

The full list of retail vendors:

  • Diaper Fairy
  • Kentucky for Kentucky
  • Revelry
  • Regalo
  • We Are Lions

The full list of food vendors:

  • Ben & Jerry’s
  • Benevolent Burrito
  • Black Rock Grille
  • Cheezy Does It
  • United Catering (Chicken N’ Waffles on the map)
  • Choice Burger
  • Flaming Wok
  • Hebros Kitchen
  • Heine Brothers Coffee
  • Hi-Five Doughnuts
  • Hippie Dips
  • Holy Molé
  • Jalapeño Corndog
  • King of Pops
  • La Chandeleur
  • Louisville Sushi Truck
  • Longshot Lobsta
  • The Mac Attack
  • Red Top Hotdogs
  • SnoWhat Snoballs
  • Southernmost Falalel
  • Steel City Pops
  • The Taco Tent
  • Umami Bites

Louisville native Caitlin Bowling has covered the local restaurant and retail scene since 2014. After graduating from the Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Caitlin got her start at a newspaper in the mountains of North Carolina where she won multiple state awards for her reporting. Since returning to Louisville, she’s written for Business First and Insider Louisville, winning awards for health and business reporting and becoming a go-to source for business news. In addition to restaurants and retail business, Caitlin covers real estate, economic development and tourism. Email Caitlin at [email protected]


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