By Mark Baratelli
Time to go crazy all you foodies, dessert fiends and food truck lovers: Orlando is getting its first cupcake truck! The Yum Yum Cupcake Truck is being built out in Jacksonville as we speak, should be ready mid March or early April and might even make an appearance at the TheDailyCity.com Orlando Food Truck Bazaar March 29, 2011. Its owned by Joey and Alex, a couple who met at UCF and spent some time in San Francisco and Philadelphia, where they discovered the food truck trend. Find the cupcake truck on Facebook and Twitter. We had the chance to interview Joey by email. Below are his answers to our questions. Contact him here.
My partner Alex and I have been together for 7 years (we met in Orlando actually...I am a UCF alumni). After we met, we moved out to San Francisco for a couple of years, which is where we first discovered the whole food truck culture (and obviously fell in love). We eventually made our way to Philly which is where I am from. It was there, we decided that we hated our jobs and working for other people and first started thinking about a food truck of sorts. We loved living in Philly, but they are so unfriendly when it comes to small business and start up businesses. Plus, there was an already established food truck culture.
Alex's mother, who lives in Jacksonville, got diagnosed with cancer and around that same time we had our house appraised and realized we were able to make some money if we sold it. SO, long story short we said "fuck it" lets move to Florida to be closer to his mom and try and open a food truck with the money from our house. And here we are. Corporate job free and ready to open a food truck.
Living in Orlando once again, we were driving around one day (I think I was showing Alex a cool neighborhood I found or something) and we stumbled upon a 1973 Chevy Stepvan for sale - WHAT ARE THE CHANCES. It was being sold by some artist who drove it around for fun. The truck used to belong to a Florida State Prison so it is in impecable condition. We bought it and drove it up to Jacksonville which is where its to be retrofitted. (I couldn't find anyone in Orlando believe it or not)
Alex bakes everything from scratch with family recipes he's altered and modernized. Alex's dad was a baker, and for as long as we've been together he's always tinkered around in the kitchen. When it comes to our actual cupcakes, everything we make is "vintage inspired"...meaning, we don't mess around with any fondant and they don't look like mini wedding cakes. The Yum Yum Cupcake Truck is all about how your grandmother would bake a cupcake. At first, we will launch with three basic flavors (vanilla-almond buttermilk, chocolate and chocolate, and red velvet with creamed cheese icing). As we build a fan base we'll be launching new flavors by popular vote.
The name for the truck (The Yum Yum Cupcake Truck) was based on the name of a very old turn of the century ice cream parlor that used to be on Park Ave (the Yum Yum Shoppe). Alex and I are inspired by anything vintage, retro, and kitschy. We're gay after all, and love us some kitsch. Our logo, menus, truck decor - everything - is based on our love of all things retro. Orlando has tons of really neat old buildings, signs, and logos that helped inspire our general aesthetic.
The truck itself will operate Wednesday through Sunday. We'll be at the Maitland and Sanford Farmer's Market each week. Other then that, you will be sure to see us all over downtown and its neighborhoods. Winter Park will be tough because they have very strict laws against mobile vending, but Orlando has plenty of neat neighborhoods to focus on (College Park, Audubon Park, Baldwin Park, etc). As our fan base grows (fingers crossed) we will use facebook and twitter our locations each day. We also hope to gain access to UCF and some of the other local campuses.