Starting your own business is no easy feat and a food truck business is even harder but the rewards can outweigh the hardships according to Basecamp Provisions owner Ben Susnick. “There was a lot …
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Starting your own business is no easy feat and a food truck business is even harder but the rewards can outweigh the hardships according to Basecamp Provisions owner Ben Susnick.
“There was a lot more to learn obviously, but because I worked in a food truck, I had a lot of contacts and people who helped me along the way,” Susnick said.
Susnick will offer his views on the peculiarities of being a food truck entrepreneur at 2 p.m. August 10th at Anythink Library’s Wright Farms branch, 5877 E. 120th Ave. in Thornton.
Basecamp Provisions is a chef-driven food truck serving an array of small batch soups, seasonal salads, burritos and energy bowls. The eclectic menu is bound by fresh, raw veggies, mouthwatering sauces and an immense love for their food.
One thing he’s learned is to find the right market for his fare, which consists of fresh ingredients and energizing food bowls.
“Generally, people want fast and fresh foods. We saw that there weren’t a lot of options at these food truck rallies. The same trucks that do well at breweries don’t do as well at hospitals, which is what we serve,” Susnick said.
Susnick began his career as a chef in the restaurant business but shifted gears to work in a gyro sandwich food truck every summer for about six years before venturing on his own.
Susnick is no stranger to hard work. Starting his day at 6 a.m., he’s on the road washing Basecamp Provisions’ food truck. As many food truckers admit, there is more to think of with a mobile business.
“The hardest thing other than running a restaurant is a food truck. We don’t have space for storage or standard places to receive deliveries,” he said. “Plus, every food truck has their own challenges at the vehicle level. We’re a mobile business, so everything is a tight ship.”
That means making accommodations for getting your food as well as delivering it.
“You can spend days running around to get your product,” he said. “You get your food from multiple places and your supplies from other places. There’s also a lot of politics involved in food trucking. In a restaurant, you can just open the doors and invite people in, whereas for a food truck you have to go find the places where people are, work with organizations who want food for an event or find other events that host food trucks.
Being true to your brand is especially important.
“The important thing is to make sure you’re at a location consistently, developing relationships, coming back repeatedly to serve great food,” Susnick said.
The Helper Bug
Susnick has been fortunate to bring his passion to life, which is why he also admits to catching the “helper bug” and wanting to help others learn the food trucking business.
“We work a lot with Second Chance, an organization who supports those who have been recently-released on parole. Food trucks can help provide a viable second chance to guys,” Susnick said.
Susnick offers some tips for would-be food truckers that are thinking about getting started.
“Work on a food truck first,” he said. “Get food service experience. The hospitality industry is the most brutal and unforgiving ones compared to others. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before you decide to buy one yourself.”
Be prepared to do plenty of paperwork, too.
“Also, there are tons of government forms and it will feel like a long and difficult process, but realize the paperwork is also the easiest part,” he said.
“You have to cook what you love,” he said. “You have to remember that this is a business and part of that is making sure you have a product that you have something that will be appreciated and be in demand. Make sure to have the right products at the right place. Literally. Having some help can definitely help you get started. Be open to it.”
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