Curiocity: Food Truck Feature — O’Cheeze
With so many new — and delicious — food trucks hitting the streets of the Twin Cities each summer, it’s almost too tough to keep up. Well, fear not, we’re here to help. Here’s this week’s food truck feature!
There’s a few things most couples do during their first year of marriage — perhaps they buy a new house or get their first pet. But I’m guessing not many decide to buy and operate a brand new food truck.
That is, unless you’re Tony and Haley Fritz.
The couple, who wed in August, say they initially wanted to open their delicious grilled cheese-inspired food truck last summer but the wedding took precedence (and rightly so).
And yes, you heard that right. Let me say it again so it sinks in — they have a grilled cheese-inspired food truck.
O’Cheeze opened about a month and a half ago and while they’re still the new kids on the block, they’ve had great success, serving upwards of 300 grilled concoctions in a single day.
But enough teasing. Here are all the details you need to know about O’Cheeze Food Truck.
Owners: Haley and Tony Fritz
Date the food truck opened: Early to mid-April.
What kind of food do you serve? Inventive grilled cheese sandwiches and soups
Price range of menu: Anywhere from $7 to $9, plus soup is $2 to $3 more, depending on the size.
Hours of operation: Check twitter, Facebook or the calendar on their website (see links above).
What was your job before opening the food truck? Haley: I managed a couple bars and a restaurant. So a lot of front of the house. And just kind of day-to-day operations, ordering and inventory, stuff like that. Tony: I worked in restaurants as a server basically all through college and then in high school as well. And then I managed a nonprofit gambling in North Dakota for a while and back down here I was selling cars right before. That’s how we made a little bit of extra money before we opened up this.
Why grilled cheese? What was your inspiration? We always liked making grilled cheeses. We’d make just the weirdest concoctions at home and then we found a grilled cheese food truck in San Fransisco and chased it down. And we were like, “Why aren’t we doing this?” We fell in love with the whole concept of a food truck. We decided to go from what we graduated and then move towards this instead. We figured we’d do it now before we can’t do it.
What made you want to open a food truck, instead of a restaurant? Haley: It’s obviously less overhead. It’s more fun and I graduated with a social media degree so I always fell in love with the twitter and Facebook aspect of saying where you are or having contests. For instance, later this week we’re going to be giving away Saints tickets on our twitter. Being able to actually be interactive with your customers, I think food trucks do that so much better than restaurants because of their mobility.
How is your food prepared? Tony: All of our sandwiches are made-to-order. We make our soups the night before. Each one of our soups are made daily, so we’ll always have two soups on all the time. And we make our pulled pork every night as well, so I’ll wake up around 3:30 a.m. or 4 a.m. to pull it and then go back to bed for a couple of hours. Haley: I think we’ll have one cold soup coming in too, so we’ll have one hot and one cold — maybe a cucumber or something like that.
How did you come up with the name? We go up to (Haley’s) cabin every year for the Fourth of July and her little cousin at the time was about 3 years old and we were driving around together on a golf cart. We were in talks about starting this food truck, a grilled cheese food truck, and as we rounded this one corner, we took it a little bit faster because he likes it, and he goes, ‘Oh jeez, oh jeez, oh jeez.’ And then it just kind of clicked. So it came from that.
What’s your favorite dish that you serve? Tony: Oh my goodness. Haley: Our most popular is probably our mac and cheese. But I would say my favorite is probably the caprese. Tony: We generally like those kind of weirder things cause we like that idea. The pulled pork is on the menu because whenever I go anywhere, I always end up ordering pulled pork. I don’t even look at the rest of the menu. The mustard pulled pork is probably my favorite right now. It’s very, very good.
What’s your craziest story from working at a food truck? Well, luck of the draw, it has nothing to do with anything else but we’ve had the worst luck with our equipment. We’ve almost had everything touched again — so replaced or fixed or anything like that. So we ended up buying that little lemon sticker (located above the back door in the truck) to ward off all the mechanical lemons. They’re all from the factory and like, a controller went out on the fridge, our circuit board went out on our generator, the coils in (the grill) all went out. Just freak accidents, nothing anyone can control. It’s all gone wrong.
Describe your truck in one word: (New) experience. Just because we try to do the whole package — we want people to come here, have fun, read the jokes on the side of the truck. We have a scooter that’s wrapped in the same jokes — unfortunately the starter’s broken right now so we’re getting it fixed.
What’s one thing you want people to know about your food truck? Tony: I think a lot of what we try to do everyday is push the envelope of what people think is a traditional grilled cheese. We’re not coming with just cheese on a piece of bread or just a tomato soup. We’re definitely going to try and incorporate a lot of our fun attitude towards food. Like I literally go to the menu and look for a pulled pork or the weirdest thing on the menu that I’ve never tried before and we really want people to be able to open up and branch out and try some of the fun stuff we’re putting together.
Catch the Food Truck Feature every week, in the Curiocity column. Know of a food truck you think should be featured? Let us know by leaving a comment below or tweeting your suggestion to @SaraPelissero!