When Debbie Clem found out that she would be losing the current position she had in an insurance company within the next few years, she decided to start a business in order to be her fallback. While the idea of getting a food truck materialized when her husband started a job in Oil and Gas and found out that most of the sites did not have access to freshly cooked food.
Thus the 5C Grill was born. Named after the 5 Clem’s in the family that help out in the business. The only person who had actual experience in the food industry though was Debbie herself, having put herself through college by working in a Mc Donald’s. Debbie basically wanted to provide hot, freshly cooked meals that the people out in the oil fields can enjoy; as opposed to say, prepackaged food from a convenience store. The 5C Grill opened up in March 2014 and currently serve their special Cheese steak hoagies with seasoned lettuce, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and cookies to hungry lunch patrons around the state. “Basically, anything you can cook in your kitchen we can cook in that trailer,” shares Debbie.
It took them around six to eight weeks to find the trailer they wanted. There are a lot of trailers out in the market and Debbie wanted a used one that was still new. She had a price range in mind, but wanted the trailer to have as much equipment as she could possibly get. It also needed to have a fire suppression system to conform with state standards and requirements. This is where the used food truck site, UsedVending.com was able to help her out.
Debbie talks about her experience with the site, “When we started looking for a truck, we didn’t have a lot of knowledge (about the industry). We didn’t really know what we were doing. We knew the business we wanted to do, but we haven’t been in that industry before.” Melissa Powers of Used Vending was able to help them sort through those initial stages and signed them up in order for them to receive e-mail updates about new food trucks and concession trailers being sold in their area. Melissa also put the trucks they were eyeing on their Watchlist, so any price changes would be automatically known to Debbie.
“Melissa worked with us from start to finish. Up to getting the title, doing the paperwork, and scheduling for us to pick-up the trailer. She even followed up with us after we got back. I can’t say enough positive things about how wonderful our experience was. So if you’re looking to enter this industry I would definitely say that Used Vending is the way to go. It was a great help to us and it made a process that we were unfamiliar with very easy,” adds Debbie.
When asked about the tips she can share to fellow newbies in the food truck business she says to be sure to check the requirements of every town you want to go into. Each town may require a peddler’s or vendor’s license to operate in.
Since vending on the street in a town with only 7,000 people is not that sustainable, the 5C Grill will be concentrating on offices and companies in the area. So if anyone needs a mobile food service to cater their area you can reach her through 304-884-7166 or via the 5C Grill Facebook page.
Tags: getting started