December 31st, 2012. New Year’s Eve at Doug and Jamie’s. That’s where it really began.
“You must be drunk”
“Why would you do that?”
I can still remember my wife Jen’s less-than-enthusiastic reaction to my announcement that I wanted to open a food truck.
All valid points really. Why would anyone give up a stable, good-paying career to go back to the kitchen after being away so long? The answer really is simple and cliché. You can take the cook out of the kitchen, but you can’t take the kitchen out of the cook. It’s something I’ve always done well, and more importantly, really enjoy doing. The feeling of watching/hearing people really enjoy something you’ve made is what keeps those us in the business going.
After burning out on the long hours and questionable pay I gave up running kitchens ten years ago and got a “real job.” Since then I’ve been cooking for friends and family and swearing, despite many suggestions from them, that I would NEVER open a restaurant…
But a truck? Now that’s another idea altogether.
The growing trend of gourmet (I hate that word) food trucks has intrigued me for the last year or two. Milwaukee has some good ones, but it seemed to me that we could use more. After being stuck inside all winter, and half the spring for that matter, who doesn’t love the idea of lunch outside in our beautiful city?
Long story short, I decided to jump in. I scoured the country for a truck, found a food truck fabricator in Florida, started building a menu, and got a ton of great help from many talented friends and family.
It’s been a bumpy couple of months but here we are; scrambling to the finish line and ready to roll.
We’re excited to get out on the street and eager to show what we can do. Our goal is to not just satisfy you with a great lunch at a reasonable price but to shock you at what we’re able to push out of a truck.
I have many people to thank; probably too many to list. I would for sure point out the design team of Clara Meinen, Nick Collura, and Stephanie Goldner who made everything look great and work so well. Also thanks to The Gouda Girls, Katherine and Tina from The Chubby Cheesetruck, possibly the two nicest and most genuinely helpful people I’ve met.
Extra special thanks have to go to my wife Jen for putting up with me while I stress out to the finish line and to Jim and Nancy Rittgers, without whose support and investment none of this would’ve gotten past that New Year’s Eve discussion.
Hope to see you soon, it’s going to be a great summer (and beyond…)