Eagle-eyed readers may have recognized the photo in Monday's article about The Bacon Truck as the truck formerly known as Staff Meal. The Bacon Truck's owners, J.J. Frosk and Sam Williams, share this picture of the newly wrapped vehicle, with art by Aaron Meshon. Williams and Frosk spoke with Eater about their menu, their planned rollout at SoWa, and the surprises in the permitting process that have altered plans.
Tell us about yourselves and the idea behind The Bacon Truck.
Williams: Well, JJ and I have been best friends since we were 14. We've been both passionate bacon eaters and cooks for the entire time we've known each other. I went to Northeastern here in Boston, JJ went to SUNY Purchase in New York. After we graduated, we got talking about this food truck idea. We've been planning this out for the past year or so and it's just now finally coming to fruition.
And the menu? Clearly bacon is going to be a big part of it.
Frosk: Bacon is an essential part, but we're still going to highlight other ingredients.
Williams: Obviously, bacon is the first theme. The second theme is "Americana deli-fare." We're revisiting classic sandwiches we've all had before: BLTs, turkey clubs, grilled cheese. We're making everything in house to complement those sandwiches: pickles, potato chips, potato salad. We're going to have bacon infused desserts as well. We'll probably add some soups and salads to the menu as we go along.
Do either of you have restaurant or truck experience?
Frosk: We had both worked in restaurants but have never taken on this much responsibility until a year ago.
Williams: We had been in and out of a couple restaurants as cashiers, delivery guys, and so on. When we decided we wanted to open a food truck, we both got jobs working on trucks here in Boston. Last summer I was the manager of Lobsta Love and JJ was the truck manager of Grilled Cheese Nation. And I worked on the Paris Creperie food truck as well. We wanted to gain as much experience from as many trucks as possible to give us what we needed to move forward with our own truck.
This truck has some provenance.
Williams: Yes, it's the truck formerly known as Staff Meal. We bought it from Adam and Patrick this past winter. We've now had it wrapped with art from Aaron Meshon. It mimics our menu; it's fun and playful.
Frosk: We're housing it at Union Square in Somerville, which is where our commissary space is (Kitchen Inc.) We live in Cambridge, so it's very convenient for us.
When do you expect to be out on the streets?
Williams: We're in the process of obtaining our final permits, which is proving to be a difficult task because it requires having all of your other permits lined up. As soon as we get that, we'll be debuting at SoWa.
Frosk: The permitting thing has been difficult, but we fully understand the need for those kinds of regulations.
Williams: It's a necessary evil if you're trying to get one of these things started up.
Any surprises in the process?
Williams: We were kind of surprised to learn that the regulations concerning hood ventilation prevented us from having a fryer on the truck. There is some red tape that we weren't anticipating that forced us to pull back a little.
Frosk: Our biggest surprise was last year when we found out the lottery was over and had passed us by before we even finished buying the truck.
Williams: The first drawing for spots in the city of Boston is in January. There is a redrawing, but no one is forced to give up their spot if they don't want to. That basically means when the spots are reassigned, only the less desirable spots are available. This led us to treat the remainder of this season as a soft opening to work out our systems. By next winter, we'll be ready to enter the lottery and plan to be vending on the streets of Boston six days a week by April.
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