A few days ago, Ali and I drove to Connecticut to check out the progress on the Bon Me Truck. We were very excited and also a bit nervous. After all, this truck is essentially going to be our business for the foreseeable future, and we’ve put a ton of time and invested much of our savings into making sure it comes out just right. We had diagrams and discussed every detail with the builder, but it’s still a question whether the result would be what we envisioned.
When we walked into the garage, we saw our bright-yellow truck sitting in the corner with a giant serving window cut in the passenger side. The roll-up door on the back was replaced with brand-new hinge doors with two windows cut in each door. We also have a smaller window cut into the driver’s side to make the truck feel a bit more open. We really wanted the truck to feel very light and open, and all these windows are a big part of that. We also got a translucent fiberglass roof on the truck rather than the standard aluminum to let more light in during the day. Our service window is about eight feet wide and set low to allow people to see into the truck and interact with our cooks more easily. We want to go for an open-kitchen feel on the truck, and I think it’s going to work out quite nicely.
Stepping inside the truck, we could see that all the major equipment had been installed. Steve (from CMS) is custom-building the steam table, so that’s still a work in progress. Most of the other major items needed to be hooked up, but we could get a feel for the truck. I’m very glad we found a wide truck, as the inside actually feels pretty spacious. We had a scary moment when Steve referred to our fridge as a freezer. Our sandwich table also had a fridge underneath, so Steve was assuming the separate fridge was a freezer. Nothing frozen in our truck…we just need an extra fridge to hold all the stuff we’re going to sell! Fortunately Steve had ordered and installed the right thing, so disaster averted.
We spent some time with Steve mapping out the shelving and some other minor details of the truck. All in all it’s looking great, and it should be done really soon.
Two weeks ago, Patrick, Ali, and I piled into the car and drove to Connecticut. Our hopes where high as we drove south from Boston to look at a step-van and finalize the blueprint for the build-out of our truck kitchen. Since Bon Me won a parking spot on City Hall Plaza, time has been ticking to register the business, buy a truck, develop a menu, come-up with a blue-print for the kitchen, get the kitchen plan approved by the City’s Department of Health and the Fire Department, rework our logo, put up a website, start this blog, get tweeting, etc. Of course anyone could tell you the truck is THE essential piece of a gourmet food truck business. It is the shell to our mobile kitchen. It is the icon of our business. It is the headquarters of our business.
Our first stop in Connecticut was Creative Mobile Systems (CMS), a family owned business that specializes in custom food trucks and cart. We met with their chief engineer, Steve, to discuss the design of our truck. We discussed the pros and cons of different lighting options, service window heights, counter sizes, and electrical outlets. After making a few minor changes to our building plan, Patrick signed a contract with them and gave them a huge chunk of money. Keep in mind dear reader, this was all done and we still did not have a truck!
Stop two was Jukonski Truck Sales where we met with “Big Jim” to discuss, drive, and possibly buy a truck he found for us. With the two hour drive from Boston and the money down on the kitchen, we were hoping that this truck would work out. This is a truck we had only read about on paper. Her stats sounded good, but we were still nervous. None of us had ever bought a truck and I was the only one who had experience buying a used car which really isn’t saying much because the first thing that struck me about the truck was its cheery appearance. Knowing we didn’t have the knowledge or experience to fully assess this truck we drove it down the street to Joe’s Auto Electric where they gave the truck a thorough once over. (If you are ever in Middletown, CT and need a repair, these guys are legit.) She checked-out well. There was one small crack that needed to be welded and a wiper sprayer that needed to be replaced which Big Jim said he would fix.
Patrick signed the papers and the former DHL step-van became the property of Bon Me!