We want to give a shout out to the great guys that run Verde, especially K.C. Slager, T.J. Ingraham and Mike “Seth” Sethney. The Verde group purchased the original Cheese Louise truck and launched the business in 2011. They went on to start the Verde Truck, serving Sonoran style Mexican food. That concept was inspired by their time spent in Arizona (they were at Arizona State University at the same time I was going to graduate school there). They were able to turn that concept into a brick-and-mortar restaurant on 28th Street that is really rocking. I strongly encourage you to check out their excellent food and tell them Michael and Lori sent you.
Michael knows restaurants, since he’s been working at them since he was 15. Being a top-notch chef is one skill set, which my husband has in spades, but to run a restaurant you need to know how to manage people, money and equipment. He has everything he needs to run a successful restaurant, except for half a million dollars to invest.
That said, a food truck business is a little out of his wheelhouse because it’s a bit of a different beast. There is a lower barrier to entry, so we could save up money to do it, but tighter margins and more headaches with truck maintenance and the like. It’s been a little bit of a learning curve, which is why we are documenting what we are doing and what we are learning in our blog.
It helps that the guys at Verde have been cheering us on. They have given us spades of advice, shared their routes, helped with paperwork (so much paperwork) and have given us the lay of the land. They have been gone above and beyond in letting us park Louise there while we sorted out insurance, licensing and all the nuts and bolts of getting the truck ready to roll out with our concept. They keep checking with us to see if we need any help. They are truly standup guys.
They’e also given us encouragement that we need that our little business is going to make it. Restaurants are a risky proposition, which is one of the reasons Michael has been cautious about taking the plunge. The Verde guys encouraged him to take that risk. For us, in our “advanced” age (I can say that now that I’m 50) it’s go time.
We knew the food truck community was tight, but we will forever be indebted to the guys at Verde for their help in making helping us get our dream up and rolling. They didn’t just sell us a truck; they passed on their passion and derring-do.