Food trucks seem to be a very popular trend in dining out, particularly with the establishment of extensive food truck parks like Deacon Baldy’s on 1488 or 403 Eats in Tomball. But if you think back, you will probably realize, as I have, that food trucks have been around for a long time.
Consider the ice cream truck we all waited for when we were kids. It only took a few notes through the tiny loudspeaker before children were flooding the cul-de-sac with coins in hand. I loved the ice cream truck so much, I actually rented one for the day as a marketing tool when I started my first real estate company. We delivered free ice cream to neighborhoods around The Woodlands and it was a great success, although if I ever hear the tune to “Pop Goes the Weasel”, it will be too soon.
Mobile food trucks have also long played a role in feeding workmen who are concentrated in certain areas, like construction workers in neighborhoods that are being built. Which reminds me of one of the first neighborhoods we lived in as a family, called River Chase in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We were among the early residents to what was a new development at the time, so there was still a large volume of construction going on around us – and that’s when the entrepreneurial spirit first struck me in a big way.
I noticed that there were not food trucks circulating through at lunch time, so I decided that I would fill the gap in the market by waking up early each morning and preparing homemade food to sell to the workmen, with the help of my kids. Every day we prepared such treats as homemade biscuits, pulled pork sandwiches, warm chocolate chip cookies and muffins of all kinds. It took most of the morning, but by lunchtime we were ready to load up the girls’ little baskets and together head out to sell our wares. Before long, the workmen were rushing out to see what delights we were bringing them that day.
I think back on those days fondly, as they were great fun and a more innocent time – these days, someone would turn me in for putting my 6 and 8-year old to work, but they loved it. We still talk about it and joke (in our best country accent) that our most successful sales pitch was, “Hey mister, do you want a biscuit?”
Fast forward forty years, and our four children and nine grandchildren are not living in such simple times, but that entrepreneurial spirit that started so long ago still sparkles in all of us. And, of course, food trucks have only increased in popularity, and still offer entrepreneurs a great start-up opportunity with a modest investment as compared to opening a restaurant. And, of course, food truck parks make that an even safer investment, bringing regular crowds out every week to see what new delights are on offer.
I’m not sure I have the energy for a food truck these days, but it wasn’t long ago that my family and I were discussing our great memories, and we decided that our combined love of entrepreneurialism and good food was still very much alive. It’s how we came up with the idea for Lovebeans Coffee House and Café, our newest venture that will adjoin our real estate office in Creekside and allow us to create new memories of good fun, good food, good friends and good coffee right here in The Woodlands. And even better, it provides us with an outlet to raise money for local charities and give back to the community that has supported us over so many years.
We have grown a bit from the days of delivering food by hand out of wicker baskets, but our enthusiasm is the same and we hope you will drop by when you can to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee and some delicious treats.