Ed tell us all about your food truck, what makes you special?
The concept of Fed by Ed, beyond the silly rhyming of the name itself, was new twists on familiar flavors. It wasn’t enough to make good food, it was about making good food that was interesting as well, the kind of thing that would not only draw curious eaters in, but get them excited about trying something that’s recognizable and being presented in a whole new light. Distilled, we make sandwiches and chips. It’s simple enough, but it tells only part of the story. We pride ourselves on fresh ingredients and making as much as we can from scratch. From our bleu cheese dressing to our 14-hour slow roasted pulled pork to slicing potatoes the day of an event and cooking as much as we can to order, we pride ourselves on making sure the food we sell is of the highest quality. If it’s something we’re going to demand when we dine out, we make sure it’s something we’re willing to do as well.
Why did you decide to open a food truck?
The decision to open a mobile food business came following a long time away from commercial kitchens and nearly a decade in another professional field. The fond memories of working in a kitchen as a teenager never left me, and even though I was no longer making money selling food, I spent a large portion of my free time in my own kitchen, cooking and learning as much as I could, making the best tasting and most interesting food possible. When I decided on a career change, I thought my eventual goal – after getting back into commercial kitchens and relearning the ropes – would be opening my own restaurant. However, the freedom of mobile dining just wound up offering the most flexibility and opportunity, both in terms of selling food and menu creativity.
What’s your most popular menu item?
The popularity of a menu item largely depends on the event. There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to what sells the most during a given event and we’re sometimes puzzled as to how extreme the variance between popular and unpopular is for a specific item from one day to the next. There is, though, one sandwich I’ll always recommend to curious diners if it’s on the menu that day. The BBQ-glazed meatloaf. I’ve always been an avid fan of meatloaf at home both as a child and an adult, particularly of leftover meatloaf because of the opportunity to turn it into a sandwich. Like all Fed by Ed sandwich creations, we wanted to take something people knew and give it a little twist. The meatloaf sandwich was actually the first item conceived and tested on our menu. The combination of spicy molasses BBQ sauce, hearty meatloaf, jalapeno jelly and apple cider vinegar coleslaw – all of which is homemade – seems to hit all the right marks. It’s sweet, spicy, savory, creamy, crunchy and has just the right amount of acid to balance it all out. It may not always be the best seller, but when customers buy it they’ll regularly come back to us just to tell us how much they enjoyed it – and often times to buy another!
Tell us about a favorite or memorable event you’ve participated in?
All the events we’ve been to have been memorable for one reason or another, but, like they say, you always remember your first. It was a small Saturday event in May at a flea market in Manahawkin – the first event of ours that invited the public to come try us out. It was a busy day and there was plenty of positive feedback. What made it so exciting was that, more than anything, it was proof of concept. This brightly colored trailer with the giant food mural was finally out there selling food and visitors were willing to try it. We left the event that day feeling good about our food and about our chances at making a go at this thing. We also lost a tire on our way back home on the Garden State Parkway and spent an hour on the side of the road as traffic whizzed by. Not the best finish to the day, but a helpful reminder of the challenges that every risk carries.
What’s the best part about having a food truck?
Despite the seemingly endless non-food related aspects of the business, including the paperwork, the permits, the inspections, and the forms associated with mobile food business in New Jersey, a food truck truly does represent freedom. There are plenty of brick and mortar restaurants that sell great food but never have a chance because of their location and fixed menus. In a food truck you’re able to circumvent the biggest hurdle in the food industry and bring your eats directly to the people. There’s also creative freedom. The ability to amend your menu, to drop items add new ones, to take food risks is extremely welcome. And those who become your fans and seek you out are often rewarded by being able to try new food every time they see you.
Do you do weddings and/or catering?
We love to do parties of all sorts, especially when it allows us to work with directly with customers to come up with creative options that suit their needs. While we specialize in gourmet sandwiches and chips, our ultimate goal is for you to get Fed by Ed. Sometimes that’s a bacon and onion cheeseburger and chips nightcap after a marathon wedding reception, sometimes it’s a sensible but immensely flavorful chicken satay and pickled vegetable wrap in the middle of the work day. It all works. We configured our business to be as flexible as possible and we’re never planning on running out of unique and clever food ideas to service any event.
Where can we find you on the street or do you have restaurant?
In our first year of operation we focused on special food events, hitting all corners of New Jersey along the way. In our second year we’re doing more of the same, loading up our weekend calendar with exciting food-related events all over. In the meantime, you can follow us on social media to see where we’re parked between those events during the week.
Thank you Ed.
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