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JaVa

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Didn’t go, should have gone.
Bummer.

I got lucky.
Last spring when we got the first wind of the pandemic and our government started talking about limiting or shutting down restaurants, I knew we'd close for an undetermined period. Thinking of the best way to provide for the family, I called a buddy and we immediately went and bought a food truck (actually a trailer). Found one for cheap too.

Luckily Spring was starting so we were headed towards appropriate weather. The first day we opened we had 50 m line waiting and we sold out in 3 hours. Next day was the same story. Never expected that.
That's pretty much how we spent the summer and kept working all the way to Christmas. All the restaurants were closed for couple months, but people still wanted that service.

since our business works outside, we are aloud to keep working, even if other restaurants have been under different restrictions. It's been a crazy ride and most fun I've ever had in any kitchen.

Don't know how strict the restrictions are where you are, but if it's possible, get a buddy to buy or lease a truck with and go to town?
 

Checkpure

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My friend who has food trucks is killing it. As others have said I'd look into that as a serious option come spring.
 

Keith Sinclair

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What food are you making on your food truck?
Eaten many a plate from lunch wagons in Hawaii. Have a good friend used to work with got into lunch wagons and has done well with it over the years.
 

tcmx3

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Ive lived all over the states, including Florida.

I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would willingly move to Florida unless it was to go to UF for a few years and bail (and Gainesville isn't nice, UF is just a really great school). Im sorry but before deciding how great it is to live somewhere like that where anyone can do anything they want, I suggest going to the Northern part of the state where all the beautiful lakes of my childhood have been drained to enable Orlando/Jacksonville folks having green lawns all year round or even worse for the sugar processors to destroy the similarly beautiful everglades. Like idc about who's in charge or running things or policy before you talk about how great it is go look at the place I grew up that's been visibly devastated and tell me you're ok with that because that right there is most Florida thing about Florida so you better like it.
 

JaVa

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What food are you making on your food truck?
Eaten many a plate from lunch wagons in Hawaii. Have a good friend used to work with got into lunch wagons and has done well with it over the years.
Well I live in Finland and funny that you asked cause...
Yeah, this is might be a bit underwhelming for you guys in the US and particularly in Florida area, but we serve food with a Miami and Latin influence. No one does it here except us.

The trucks called Happy Days Bros. The idea is to bring good vibes to people with food. The truck (trailer) is super super small with only a gas grill and a deep fryer and a fridge. Everything had to be planned to be able cope with just those.

Premium burgers have been rapidly growing in popularity for few years here so a good cheese burger was a no brainer. Happy Days Cheese burger is super simple, a local bakery makes us stunning brioche buns, Lime-chipottle mayo on the bottom, fresh high grade finnish 100% beef patty grilled to medium, covered with matured cheddar and a big pile of our version of chimihurri on top.

French fries are thick country style and served with a choice of self made porcini-parmesan salt or grilled bacon-rosmary salt .

Steak is called South Beach Churrasco. It's a choice of carne asada marinated and grilled skirt steak or flank steak. Served medium, sliced, with chimichurri, pickled chili and with fries of your choice.

Do The Funky Chicken was designed for kids, but it turns out adults love them too. It's chicken file bites covered with seasoned corn flour, whipped egg and crumbled nachos. that means they'r gluten free. Deep fried and served with fries and the lime-chipottle dip and goat cheese basil majo.

Desert is a basic New York cheese cake with roasted white chocolate, fresh strawberries and strawberry sauce.

Everything is home made and sourced thru small local businesses.

We're only open 2-4 days a week and we move around. We get asked a lot to come everywhere. Always rent free. Also companies are buying our service to company picnics and all sorts of orientation days. You know small-ish outside events with lots of room and scheduled service times. Been to birthdays and weddings. The possibilities have been endless. On a hot day roll out to a beach with cold drinks and burgers, what you think is going to happen?

The best part is people are always happy to see us and in a good mood just because someone is actually serving them food let alone well made food in these difficult times. It's been a blast. We are actually looking to expand with another truck and a restaurant next season that starts in about a month.

Sorry for the long post. It got away from me a bit.
 
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Keith Sinclair

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Draconian policy in Florida gave no support to solar panels in the sunshine state.

In Hawaii they gave tax breaks for Solar & your extra energy put into the grid took care of nighttime use. Solar exploded as did solar panel companies. Hawaiian electric got caught with their pants down losing customer high electric rates. Just 14.00 a month to be connected to grid.

Still tax breaks but no longer net metering so you don't get credit for extra energy that goes into grid. That slowed panels because you need batteries for storage.

A large solar farm was built by private co. to sell power to Hi electric. HE wouldn't cooperate & ended up buying the company for themselves on the cheap.
 

Keith Sinclair

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Thanks JaVa I knew you were from Finland but forgot. Good burgers are popular everywhere.
Sounds like your having fun. Good for you
making best of situation.

Some restaurants here do food prep in their kitchens & hit the road in lunch wagons hours around 10am to 4pm. You still have basic two scoops rice, mac. salad. Curry stew, garlic shrimp, BBQ meat beef & pork, grilled chicken etc.

Now days you get restaurant grade food from wagons.

My friend added bbq pork tacos to his fare they are a good seller. He makes that pork very tasty.
 

GorillaGrunt

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Ive lived all over the states, including Florida.

I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would willingly move to Florida unless it was to go to UF for a few years and bail (and Gainesville isn't nice, UF is just a really great school). Im sorry but before deciding how great it is to live somewhere like that where anyone can do anything they want, I suggest going to the Northern part of the state where all the beautiful lakes of my childhood have been drained to enable Orlando/Jacksonville folks having green lawns all year round or even worse for the sugar processors to destroy the similarly beautiful everglades. Like idc about who's in charge or running things or policy before you talk about how great it is go look at the place I grew up that's been visibly devastated and tell me you're ok with that because that right there is most Florida thing about Florida so you better like it.
oh just specifically for this, to work as a chef while COVID stuff is still affecting the industry. I haven’t wanted to move there before and wouldn’t be committed to staying.
 

panda

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Ive lived all over the states, including Florida.

I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would willingly move to Florida unless it was to go to UF for a few years and bail (and Gainesville isn't nice, UF is just a really great school). Im sorry but before deciding how great it is to live somewhere like that where anyone can do anything they want, I suggest going to the Northern part of the state where all the beautiful lakes of my childhood have been drained to enable Orlando/Jacksonville folks having green lawns all year round or even worse for the sugar processors to destroy the similarly beautiful everglades. Like idc about who's in charge or running things or policy before you talk about how great it is go look at the place I grew up that's been visibly devastated and tell me you're ok with that because that right there is most Florida thing about Florida so you better like it.
I moved out of Florida only to come back cause I missed it. South Florida for the record doesn't even count as rest of Florida lol
 

panda

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Keith I would love to have Hawaiian food truck out here in the east coast.
 

M1k3

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I moved out of Florida only to come back cause I missed it. South Florida for the record doesn't even count as rest of Florida lol
What's the saying? "The more North you go, the more South it gets"?
 

Keith Sinclair

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Keith I would love to have Hawaiian food truck out here in the east coast.
Yeh you could have it painted up by an artist with Florida or Hawaii theme. My friend has three food trucks started out with one. Food prep for them done in same kitchen. He has one at ocean front park with trees, grass, & tables. Masks are mandatory our cases. are going down. You can get tasty plate lunch with a beautiful setting.
 

Keith Sinclair

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JaVa good move using chimichurri sauce on your steaks & burgers like a south american pesto. Good buns make all the difference in a burger. Like the sharp cheddar too.
 

JaVa

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Thanks JaVa I knew you were from Finland but forgot. Good burgers are popular everywhere.
Sounds like your having fun. Good for you
making best of situation.

Some restaurants here do food prep in their kitchens & hit the road in lunch wagons hours around 10am to 4pm. You still have basic two scoops rice, mac. salad. Curry stew, garlic shrimp, BBQ meat beef & pork, grilled chicken etc.

Now days you get restaurant grade food from wagons.

My friend added bbq pork tacos to his fare they are a good seller. He makes that pork very tasty.
Yeah, thats the idea, to serve high quality restaurant food from the truck. You can get your prices very reasonable as the starting costs and running costs are low. People really appreciate the slightly more affordable prices as money is tight everywhere.

I prep at home. I have a decent kitchen space for that and a warehouse in the yard with pro fridges for storage. But can't wait to find a restaurant space to start working from there.

Lunch hours haven't worked for us that well. So we usually go to suburbs at around 2 pm an week days. Families go nuts. There's usually a line. They pick up like 4-8 dishes at a time. Every time we're in the city people just buy one item at a time.

Beaches, market places, grocery store fronts (owners contact us and wants us to come and provide that service to their customers) too has been great. Good music, few tables, good food, good vibes. almost like a small party. customers really dig all that.

The reason I'm sharing all this is maybe it sparks an idea for someone and that might bring some relief in these difficult times.
 

JaVa

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JaVa good move using chimichurri sauce on your steaks & burgers like a south american pesto. Good buns make all the difference in a burger. Like the sharp cheddar too.
Thanks! I appreciate that.😎👍
 

Keith Sinclair

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It sounds like you hit a underused market in Finland.

When I think of Finland how a small population country was beating invading Russian army after Stalin purged the officer core in the 1930's.
 

JaVa

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I'm always amazed when someone is aware of our little countrys history which is located here at the farthest corner of EU. We owe so much to our veterans for our independence. What they did is nothing short of a miracle.

If there ever was proof that the quote from Roman philosopher Seneca is true...
"LUCK is what happens when preparation meets opportunity"
Which basically means that there is no pre destined fate, but rather you make your own.

Because literally, that's exactly what happened.
 

Keith Sinclair

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I like military history esp. WW2
In 1939 the world watched as Finland with no modern planes or tanks held off vast force from Russia who thought they were going to blast through Finland with Tanks like the Germans did in western Poland. With excellent leadership like Mannerheim & Col. Aaro Pajari
both who had been in Finland's war of independence.

I read the book A Frozen Hell years ago by William Trotter about the 1939 Winter War.
There are excellent UTubes on this war.
What the Fins did ranks as one of the greatest defenses against a much larger mechanized force.

It ranks with another miracle in modern Warfare the Yom Kipper war 1973. Egypt & Syria attacked Israel. Forces form other countries Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco & Cuba. Supported by weapons of war from Soviet Union including excellent SAM's. The Israeli jets were getting shot out of the sky. Heroic fighters with their back to the wall turned it around. Also good UTubes on these battles if your interested in military history.

Finland held on until Stalin sent massive military force against Finland. The Fins were still hanging on but we're running out of ammunition. They had been using captured weapons from Russians. A treaty was signed & Finland had to cede territory to Russia. But it was Finland that won with recognition of keeping it's independence. After the war Stalin was taking over plenty countries including Poland. He didn't want anything to do with Finland.
 

Tristan

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Singapore. Now even the mid high end is recovering as dining has been open for last 9 months and no holidays means more domestic splurges.
 

Danzo

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you could potentially make something out of your house. I've been doing ramen kits every other week or so, I could easily make it a full-time job, but its just a hobby. There's lost of that going around in Seattle, its cash too.
 

GorillaGrunt

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Ehh it’s not even that so much as I just want to be cooking every day in a good, fine dining or at least ish, restaurant to order for people coming and sitting down. Without having to think any more of this “what can we cobble together“ stuff.
 

Midsummer

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Here in Orlando the scene is picking up quite well for fine dining.

I have lived in Florida, North Carolina, New York, Oregon, Spain, Wisconsin and Missouri. I do not have the same emotional response as others to Florida.

I dislike the heat; but I think it has a lot going for it.
 

GorillaGrunt

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A friend of mine was just in FL and said that everything is pretty much normal except with masks on. Not wild and reckless stuff and not skittering around scared either. Definitely should have gone
 

AT5760

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Just make the short drive down to Omaha. The good restaurants are doing well; some have closed, but not many.
 

JaVa

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In Finland the situation has been among the best in Europe, but it's now slowly started to slide. As I'm writing this there's a live press conference on TV where the government is issuing new regulations. One is that in most areas restaurants are going to be closed for 3 weeks. Which is going to be a last nail in coffin for many restaurants that's been fighting to stay alive already.

There have been only a few places gone out of business so far, but that'll change in a few weeks for sure.

If take away is going to be still aloud then it won't effect our little food truck. It'll actually even help us because other pleces are shut down. We are slowly headed for spring now and after two months of vacationing we'll start rolling out again in two weeks as the weather is starting make it possible again.

Can't wait to get out there.
 

JaVa

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Ehh it’s not even that so much as I just want to be cooking every day in a good, fine dining or at least ish, restaurant to order for people coming and sitting down. Without having to think any more of this “what can we cobble together“ stuff.
I don't know if these are common knowledge, but shows anything's possible these days. These were actually a while back, but they present a different perspective of the possibilities food trucks can provide.
 
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