On January 14, 2013, The Stone Soup Company set out on a new adventure. We have been looking for a way to grow and a way to share our food with those that can’t always visit our location in Ybor City, Tampa. Our first thought was to open up a second stationary location but it seemed too traditional and we usually do non-traditional approaches so a Food Truck seemed natural. As we started looking around at food trucks many either seemed like they were created by handy owners or purchased. As we started looking around we found a truck on the outskirts of Orlando that seemed like a good candidate. The prices was right and it needed some work. It was a little short school bus, with an awning, lots of equipment and an owner that really needed the money. After seeing it once we set out to close the deal with a local mechanic that was to meet us for a quick inspection.
We were running about 30 min late and as we turned off of I-4 on Ivanhoe about half mile down we see a random food truck parked in front of an existing restaurant with a ‘for sale’ sign on it. We look at each other and say lets pull over. We being Wilder and I. Wilder Robles, yes his name is really Wilder is my partner on this thing and is currently working with us at the restaurant as a sous chef. Former Coast Guard, studying culinary at The Art Institute here in Tampa is itching for a chance to get into the mobile food business and we make our way to this truck. It looks so clean, inside the layout is right with all the equipment. We do a quick look with owner and he explains this truck is ready to sell food, he had a heart attack a few months ago and needs to take it easy. The truck and his restaurant are no long on his horizon. So we tell him we will be back. We make our way to the original truck we were supposed to see and as we pull up the the school bus we both feel like we need to leave and go back to the box truck we just say.
So along with the mechanic we make our way back to the box truck. We have lunch at this 30+year establishment and have one of the best Gyro sandwich I ever had. Homemade sauce, shaved meat, soft pita this guy was good. So we do the transaction, and we go to pull out of the spot and our new purchase is overheating. The mechanic did say the water pump was not in the best of shape. From this point on, Wilders and I test our friendship and working under stress. We decide to drive to the mechanics shop about 6 miles away with a 5 gallon jug of water close to the cabin. Every 1 mile we have to pull over and add water, mind you its now about 3pm and Orlando is in the midst of rush hour traffic. We finally make it to the mechanic who has the part ready by 4:30pm. Only one problem, he closes at 5. So we decide to leave the truck with him so he can look it over, install the part and make sure we can get it back to Tampa.
More pictures to come and we will be looking for your feedback on where we should park the truck and the best way to utilize our new purchase. So far on horizon are office parks, schools, festivals, rallies, and most importantly we will be using the truck to work with Tampa Bay Harvest to pick up food when we are heading back empty. Stay Tuned!
Eat Smart Eat Stone Soup!!!
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