It is easy to remember the night that we first met Bobby and Kim from Compliments food truck. It was March 19th and at midnight it would be the first day of spring. The weather was anything but spring like. It was cold and windy with sleet and snow falling throughout the evening. I had driven from Providence to attend the spring meeting of the Boston Food Truck Alliance. It was one of the first times that I had the opportunity to meet a large group of food truckers away from their trucks in a different environment. When the meeting ended Bobby and Kim and a few other food truck owners continued the conversation at a local pub, I felt happy and lucky to be invited to join them.
Bobby and Kim have a positive energy that surrounds them. It is clearly something special. You can hear it in their conversation, see it in their smiles, and can tell from their body language. They are passionate about Compliments food truck, they embrace being small business owners, and they are clearly in love with each other. It was great to get to spend the evening with so many food truck owners, and to get to know them a bit better. I did miss not having the opportunity to see their food trucks and try their food.
I stayed in touch with Bobby and Kim throughout the spring and summer but the timing never worked out to get to their truck, see it in person and try their food. I was very excited to when I learned that Compliments food truck would be participating in the final Food Truck Festival of New England event of 2013, in Newport, RI. It would finally be a chance to see Bobby and Kim on their truck and try their food.
There is a lot of effort that goes into preparing a food truck for daily service. When it is a festival or event day the amount of work increases significantly. When I arrived in Newport before the festival began the first thing I noticed was the big warm smile on Kim’s face.
You most certainly can taste it in their food. I had their sliders and an order of fried cauliflower. If you happen to be in the Boston area I highly recommend you try both for yourself.
After a long day that included a lot of prep work leading up to the event, driving two hours to get to Newport, dealing with strong winds and long lines, and dealing with battery problems on the truck, and knowing that they had another big Halloween event the next morning, the entire Compliments team was still smiling at the end of the day. The day was delayed even further by having to wait a couple of hours while their truck battery was charging. It was a nice opportunity for me to spend some more time with them.
After the weekend winded down, I asked Kim if she would share a bit about their food truck, experience, and what keeps them smiling.
Eric: When I left you Saturday night you were finally heading back to Boston delayed by a couple of hours. How did the rest of the weekend go?
Kim: We finally got home and passed straight out on Saturday night. Sunday morning Bobby ran around trying to get the parts necessary to fix our battery problem with the truck. Caitie and I painted our faces in the car for Halloween. We just put out the positive vibes, there was no way Tippy (what we call our truck, she leans a little) would let us down if we were all done up for Halloween. Tippie turned on and got us to the event on time! It ended up being a very busy day for us.
Eric: What keeps you smiling day in and day out?
Kim: Good question. We all believe in the power of positive thought and mind over matter. Whenever anything has been wrong with Tippy or business and we become negative, things don't get any better. I know it seems silly but it's like our truck and business has a soul, we have to feed it with good energy, just like our customers.
Eric: I spent a fair amount of time with you on Saturday at the Newport Food Truck Festival. Tell me about the best part and most challenging part of your day?
Kim: The best part about a day like that is we had an amazing time with our customers! Nothing takes away the memories we make with them. We love to reflect about the conversations we had and share stories. The festival was really busy but we had plenty of time to make real connections with our customers! The most challenging part of working events back to back is the exhaustion. We are a small, very, very small business. So that means we clean and prep by ourselves. We have 2 awesome helpers for day of big events, but after they are done Bobby and I still have to make it to our regular weekly shifts! So the events back to back aren't really the problem, it's really the rest of the week!
Eric: Do you have any advice you would like to share?
Kim: When you wake up every morning you have a choice: you can be happy or sad I choose happy! It takes a lot more effort to be mean, than it takes to be kind. Take the easy route and be kind. When you put positive vibes out into the universe they come back tenfold! The food truck is just a vehicle to help us spread optimism and good cheer!
You can learn more about Compliments food truck and find and where to find them in Boston and events at http://www.foodtrucksin.com/compliments-food-truck.