Renovations 
 

The time has come to renovate! The weather has warmed up, the birds are singing, the people are hungry! My mother, Mary Massie, has graciously offered up her garage as storage space, as we needed to gut the truck, so far we have : removed the ceiling panels, cold table, mini-fridge, freezer (which will not be added back in but sold or used for personal use) the shelving and we ripped up the floor.

Next Steps are as follows:


1) Electric- Our good friend Jon is an electrician who has offered to help us re-wire the truck,  in ONE day he came up with five or six different electric layouts for us to choose from after meeting with us! Jon is helping us to meet the Heath Department’s request for more lighting, which we agree we absolutely need.

Electric
2) Logo- As with this entire project, luck is on our side, I work with a very talented Graphic Designer and photographer, Rob Wappner, https://www.Facebook.com/robertkphoto 

he has helped us design a logo with printed menus and business cards to come. We are really happy with the way the logo turned out, thanks Rob!

Drawingmmore logoWe had to narrow down our logo design, Rob came up with so many solid ideas, what a fun process! 

logo on site3) Menu Pricing- We have narrowed down our menu options and have about 12 tacos and sliders we will be rotating seasonally, this makes it easy for us to pull on off the side lines and onto the menu. Of course we will still be dreaming and creating threw out the year. We also have wontons, vegetable fried rice, sushi and some soup and salad recipes ready to go! My favorite option so far is The Korean Taco: shaved bulgogi beef, onions, toasted sesame and topped with fresh greens, green onion and a miso dressing, finished with crumbled queso fresco!

 
 

4) Menu taste testing- Mansfield Book Club, which meets every Tuesday evening, has been a massive help with their taste buds! Aaron and I are always cooking up treats to taste test on our friends, many thanks to Nick, Addison and Sly especially for their feedback.

4) Equipment purchasing- Equipment such as: new prep fridge and table, POS system and burners have been priced, right now we are searching the internet for even better deals and craigslist for some sort of food equipment miracle. One miracle has already occurred our friend Kevin Yohn owner of Tacos Tantos in Kent, Ohio has an extra prep table he is throwing our way for the price of a few good beers, what a’dude!


5) Exterior Renovations- B.S. Creations in Madison has worked with us to create a creative, eye-catching color scheme and design for the truck. Blue-Green almost teal color block at the bottom of the truck, a strip of light orange- a Cream sickle color, and off-white or “Vanilla Shake” for the top block of the truck. We went with some old school ice cream truck colors as a nod to the history of food trucks!

The only issue is the truck is too tall to fit into their workspace, they may have to take the truck to a friends airplane hanger to get it painted. The truck is quite a large beauty! 

 

6) Interior Renovations- Aaron and I have removed the floors, ceilings and scraped and worked away at rust, B.S. Creations is going to help us get the counter tops up to code by creating a stainless steel piece to cover some gaps. In addition, the scrap stainless steal will be used to cover the cabinet under the stink, should look quite nice when finished. Pictures to come!

picture of back of truck

 

7) Engine repairs- Our beauty of a diesel engine is running so well since we bought two new batteries. Our good friend Matt Snyder, “Sly”, has been our go to for all things food truck, we really cannot thank him enough! Sly is going to help us put in a new filter, spark plugs and a few other odds and ends. He helped us purchase the truck and we made sure to get an engine that was ready to go so luckily there isn’t much to do.

Thank you to our friends and family for their love, support and assistance, we really couldn’t do it without you!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Buying a Food Truck

 
 
Lazily surfing Craiglist, I come across a listing for a food truck that doesn’t include a thousand dollar signs and stars, most seem to read : 
“$$$FOOD TRUCK$$$ money maker! Buy now!” “WE BUY SELL FIX FOOD TRUCKS!”

This ad in particular grabs my attention due to its low key nature, as a plus it’s just outside of Mt.Vernon, a short lovely drive out Route 13:
“New York style food truck, Howard, Ohio.” It lists the kitchen equipment year, make, and model, all you really need for a short ad. I call the owner Todd, he calls back quickly excited that it isn’t some “scammer” or “weirdo”, I feel the same way as most of my Craigslist food truck shopping experiences have led to a dead end. We set up a time and date, I can hardly contain my excitement and book an appointment for the next day.

Barely able to sleep, Aaron and I wake up early brew some coffee and hit the road. We drive out past Lexington into Bellville, the road turns curves and throws my Jeep around in the cold winter wind. We pull up to a large beautiful brick home with a kick ass workshop out back, where Todd said he spends his days. Walking up to the workshop two young deer hunters emerge from the woods, looking downcast; the days catch had out run them. 
We step into the workshop, I instantly fall in love: table saws, interesting homemade chairs, a massive roaring wood stove and tiny kittens fighting over a mouse. My heart instantly warms to this place, quickly I talk myself out of admiration and attempt to put my “We might be buying this food truck” look on. The garage is half finished, we call out “Todd” several times with no luck. I creep along, walking carefully to the other end of the garage and knock knock on the door, behind it we hear giggling, music and good times. Aaron and I stare at each other, not knowing what to do. Suddenly, the door flies open revealing a professional office with printers desks and several massive computers.

The group greets us warmly as Todd shakes our hands and introduces us to his crew- a bunch of friendly smiling locals and a little sausage dog named “Bernie Kosar”, one of Aaron’s favorite Browns players who happens to also be a massive lush. Of course I launch into a joke about Bernie “hitting the dog treats hard, lay off the sauce Bernie!” We take an instant liking to Todd and his crew, small talk ensues; the crew builds websites for businesses in town, or something like that I don’t speak computer. I admire Todd’s working from home office and independent aura, leader not follower, he has that little something that food truckers like us must have.

We walk back into the workshop, after a brief tour he takes us to our potential mobile kitchen, what a beauty!
I’m a tall women, and I could stand upright hands outstretched in the truck with no problem! The roof doesn’t leak etc. we go down our researched check list and find nothing wrong. It needs some fixing up, which we expected and frankly wanted. Aaron is quite handy has done roofing and other odd jobs. I spent half a hear renovating a train car from 1911 into a bed and breakfast and worked with a contractor that specialized in Natural Earthen building in College, we would have no problems fixing this truck up (maybe)! Todd is super honest and forthcoming about the truck, he leaves us to explore on our own and we jump up and down with ideas. Driving back to town we decide the next step is getting a mechanic to come check out the massive diesel engine, luckily our good friend Matt aka Sly has a buddy who is willing to come. I immediately make appointments for the following week!

The mechanic gave us more than a green light, “Keep up with this engine and it will go for million miles!” Standing out in the bitter cold Sly and his diesel mechanic friend play with the lift on the back of the truck and tell stories of school buses breaking down and all the times they had helped each other out of binds. Trying to take notes I eventually give up and live in the moment. We came to an agreement with Todd quickly, transfer the title with no bumps or hiccups, the best experience I have had buying a vehicle!
The next step is fixing her up! More posts in the near future!

Keep on truckin,
Anne

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