Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Black Betty is Our Girl

Ladies and Gentlemen.... it's been a whirlwind. Precisely three and a half months ago the people of Windows Phones presented us with the idea of sponsoring a food truck. They heard lasagna cupcakes were terrific and why not make a cute little lasagna cupcake truck? Here's a sizeable amount of cash to get you started and the tradeoff is the truck needs to be wrapped with a Windows Phone banner for six months like Rocky's robe in his first big fight. Good with that? 

I did not have time to even finish the sentence: "Matt, this is a really big commitment, it's like another full time job, no, it is another full time job and I absolutely do not think---" Matt was out the door headed north with my dad to San Francisco to purchase a massive beast of a truck. 

"Sorry, babe, did you say something?" They left after a catering party around midnight on a Thursday and returned at 7 the following evening, legal matters taken care of with the original owner carrying the lien for the remaining balance owed, his faith high in our company. 

Upon their return, I didn't know what to be more concerned about, the fact that this converted moving truck allowed only six inches of wiggle room to get into our commissary or that Matt just pulled an all-nighter with my 78 year-old father. "Keeps hair on my chest!" my dad piped in before I could utter any distress.

Ana Henton had been given the truck's dimensions to make a design for the wrap and Lacey Arts worked all through the weekend so that Monday, three days later, we had an opening practice run at Silverlake Wine and the very next night, the real thing, our grand opening at Bar Covell. Holy Moly you might say. I sure did.

Since then we have gotten a lot of shouts outs as well as sneers. People love the food but they don't love the prices, they think we're money grubbing because food trucks are supposed to be "cheap". Matt and I, and all of our kitchen crew come from restaurants and consequently we have approached this truck as if it were brick and mortar because that's just what we know. Our prep is done at our catering kitchen and all our people are skilled at working a line. We make food with big flavor and lots of integrity, and there's a lot of costs involved to make that happen. Some people appreciate this approach, others just think we're snotty. We don't really know how to rectify this contest, we just have decided to keep on keepin' on.

Sometime, maybe a month after this truck squeezed into our lives, we named her Black Betty. Although she has hampered our sleep and contorted our sensibilities with practical check lists like "must always carry a high powered jump box", we wouldn't have it any other way. We've smoothed out the kinks and made adjustments so that we can sit back and marvel at what a beauty she is and how much of a joy it is to get to have her. Thank you Los Angeles Magazine for acknowledging that we are not just a cute little lasagna cupcake truck, that we are striving to be a restaurant on wheels and to bring what we have learned and what we love and believe in to the streets.

Oh, and also thank you for giving Matt and I an excuse to glam up for your fancy party at the Roosevelt Hotel last week. We had a blast and were as proud as parents of our Black Betty receiving this award.

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Julie H. Schaal said...

I can totally hear your dad say that:) God bless you Heirloom LA-hitch your wagon- er um, Cupcake Lasagne Truck to that star! So proud of you!!! And you look fabulous as always ;)

Heirloom-LA said...

My dear, Julie, friend since first grade, of course you can hear my dad say that line, you've heard it a thousand times in our childhood. Love to you.

Ken... said...
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