The first I heard of the whole food truck idea was on a glorious (and intoxicated) evening at Mar Vista cottages. We (names withheld to protect the innocent) were sitting around, guzzling sipping wine, while the kids ran wild. In between bites of bread and cheese soaked with the oozing juices of freshly-picked tomatoes, we were having our usual conversation about returning to work after being home with the kids for a few years. Suzanne told us about this San Francisco Magazine article detailing how the recession was derailing many women on the mommy-track (a term that makes me picture a bunch of moms at the racetrack, hands clutching betting tickets and sippy cups). Many of the mothers were in the same boat as the rest of us – needing a job that could be completed during school hours, and that was flexible enough to accommodate sick kids and summer vacation schedules (not to mention Fall break and Spring break). We started lamenting how, like the women in the article, we were unable to find jobs that fit our working-mom’s needs. Somewhere in all of that commiserating, Suzanne brought up the food truck idea. The food truck was a natural fit for Suzanne, really. She’s food-obsessed, excited about the growing street food phenomenon and has a catering background. I don’t remember the details of the conversation (did I mention the wine was flowing?) But I do have some recollection that I slurred, “Count me in,” before I crammed another piece of baguette in my mouth.
It wasn’t until the next time I went for a run with Suzanne that I realized she was serious. She was talking about partnering with another mom, legendary at our school for her to-die-for Colombian empanadas. And she was also in conversation with a mutual friend who was at Mar Vista with us that night. I was surprised to feel a little envious. I was bored with my consulting business and had been casting around for the next thing to do. Suzanne’s enthusiasm was infectious and I wanted in. “I can do your marketing,” I offered.
I won’t bore you with the details of the following weeks. But I will tell you that the empanadas didn’t work out. And the mutual friend needed something a little more stable. So, when Suzanne asked me if I was interested in opening the truck with her, I said that I was. Know what that made me? Yes, yes, I know, her third choice. But it also made me an entrepreneur. In control of my own destiny. Free to shape my future. In charge. Excited.
And…a little bit uncertain.