Tag Archives: The Dream

Year 1,Week 2. Welcome to the Jungle

Besides  creating amazing food, the imagery on your food truck is probably the single most important marketing tool in your arsenal. A pink truck covered in poodles that serves cupcakes gives off a distinct vibe. An Army green,battle-scarred war wagon with tank tracks gives another.

Dave and I have been meeting with Jeff, our vinyl wrap specialist, at JK Signs in New Cumberland to hammer out some of our ideas and to get some visual cues on what Maybelline would actually look like. We believe our design is edgy, eye-catching and crystallizes Guerrilla Canteen’s military theme.

We got some roughs from Jeff earlier in the week that featured a Gorilla and it felt like something was missing.truck wrap 2


Dave summed it up in one sentence, “Maybelline should look like she drove out of the jungle after a battle.”

I looked at the monitor and spoke ” I love the color, Jeff. I like the grunge.”

“But one thing is missing…” I paused ,” Remove the monkey. ..It needs tank treads.”

After looking at photos of half tracks, Jeff chose a suitable image and quickly cropped and sized the treads to fit the rear wheel well of the step van.

Jeff sat back in his chair and said, “This is a rough idea just to see what it looks like.”

I looked over at Dave and He smiled from ear to ear.

Jeff took a breath and swiveled in his chair.” I’m really picky and hard to please.” His eyes widened,” When I’m done with this thing people are going to be touching the vinyl to see if the treads are real.”Truck rendering

I  felt really excited to finally see some progress on the wrap.  Silently I thought,

” Welcome to the Jungle.”



Year 1 week 2 Do the Hustle

Excited after having a successful soft opening, Dave and I looked through the comment cards to gauge our performance. ” This one is all 10’s.”, Dave laughed as he held up the Guerrilla Sauce stained paper. Glancing over his shoulder, I recognized my Mom’s handwriting and dismissed it without telling Dave my secret. ” Another one with all nines and tens”, Dave grinned.  As the pile got smaller and we read the results (Best burger ever! Loved the food. You guys rock) it dawned on me. Dave and I did a really good job on our first outing in the food truck. People enjoyed our food and had a great time and Dave and I felt the pride of having our dream come to fruition. That evening after the high-fives and the euphoria of accomplishing our goal, I felt satisfied and stared at the ceiling fan in bed and dreamed of thousand burger food festivals and hundreds of people buying our food.

Dave and I met on several occasions after the event and quickly got to work on securing permits and finding events for us to sell. Our first official calendar date is July 8 but we have a lot of things to accomplish before we are ready to sell. The truck is inspected by the Department of Agriculture of Pennsylvania,  our permits are secured to sell food in Hershey and everything is in place to hit the streets except for three details.

  1. Maybelline needs to get a vinyl wrap  complete with logos, bullet holes and tank treads.
  2. We need a second fridge installed so that we can do volume sales
  3. We need places to sell.

Owning a food truck is teaching us the value of what I like to call “Hustle”. No, it’s not the sleazy Times Square (ca. 1975) Three card Monte hustle designed to steal money from tourists. You hustle while serving food or prepping eM.P.anadas. You Hustle by sourcing quality ingredients at low prices. You hustle by fostering relationships. We are meeting with event organizers, fire hall chiefs, local businesses and anyone who will listen to us.

Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony had a hit in the summer 1975 entitled  “The Hustle”.  It went to number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles charts and won a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. The song has two lyrics in its annoying 4 minutes and 10 seconds. The chorus is ” Do the Hustle” and during the intro they say “Do it”.  It’s a pretty good philosophy.  Nike stole the ” Do it” part. I’m stealing the “Do the Hustle” part. Hell, if you buy a Guerrilla Burger from us, I’ll sport a beige leisure suit and boogie down the Soul Train line. So will Dave. Sing along now!  Do the Hustle!  Doot-Doot-Doot-Do-Doot-Da-Doot-Doot….

Day 37: Dave is on fire.

Dave on fire

The first real step to building our rolling kitchen involved removing everything that wasn’t essential. On the walls of the Chevy were four steel racks mounted to the supports.  The racks were pointless in a food truck and needed to be taken off to make room for insulation, and stainless steel or other kitchen-friendly wall coverings.

Dave and I struggled to remove the racks out of Maybelline. It seemed like every other Phillips head was stripped out and difficult to remove. It was too much work for such a simple job. We tried removing them by hand. We tried an electric drill. Nothing worked.

Dave came up with the idea of grinding the heads right off. My only experience with grinders involved  making sausage or coffee. Off to Lowes we went and in 10 minutes we had a brand new angle grinder in hand.

“You ready?”, Dave giggled with a look on his face that reminded me  of a 12-year-old  boy who had just made out with a sophomore in the cloakroom at the skating rink. “Let her rip.”, I laughed.

Dave fired up the grinder and showers of sparks filled the aluminum box that would eventually be our kitchen. Dave was methodical, hitting each screw head dead center. Dave was careful to not grind the walls. A few of the screws needed a little persuasion with a pry bar and I carefully popped those off.

“That was easy.”, Dave said as the smell of burnt metal settled in the truck.

” Doing the walls is going to be as easy.” Dave spoke with the confidence of man who has built hundreds of food trucks.(He hasn’t.) I looked at Dave long and hard and something deep in my soul believed him. The dream of three friends is coming true.

Day 7 Looking for a Food Truck: The Hunt Begins.

truck .

I stuck the key in the ignition of my beat up Chevy Equinox. Dave and I got a lead from our friend Bill Via about a food truck in Lebanon. Images of an affordable war wagon with all the bells and whistles for ten grand raced through our minds.” Four wheels and the American dream.”, I said to myself as I adjusted the seat-belt. Dave”s positive vibe radiated from the passenger seat. Dave is one of the most upbeat guys I know. He has the ability to elevate everyone around him. I’ve worked with Dave for years and I have always admired his work ethic, his passion for what he believes in and his infinite optimism. When life gives Dave lemons, Dave doesn’t make lemonade. Dave builds a lemonade distribution center. Dave builds a lemonade franchise that dominates the lemonade market. Continue reading Day 7 Looking for a Food Truck: The Hunt Begins.