CBSNewYork is paying homage to New York City food trucks this week by spotlighting five of our favorites: The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, Korilla BBQ, Wafels & Dinges, Kelvin Natural Slush Co. and Schnitzel & Things. Check back each day for a new feature.
By Siobhan Wallace
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Last July, Alex Rein hit the streets of New York with Kelvin Natural Slush Co, a truck with a mission.
“My goal was to reintroduce people to slushies by offering a more grown up version of what can typically be found in convenience stores,” Rein said.
But getting the wheels moving on his idea wasn’t easy.
It took about eight months of preparing and working towards the opening with an added problem of trying to figure out what their staffing needs would be.
“The biggest hurdle in opening the truck was employees. Everyone who works in a food truck has to have a mobile food vending license and getting one can take several months,” Rein told CBSNewYork.
On that first “very exciting” day, the truck hit the street until about 5:30 p.m., and it was the beginning of what Rein called “very long days.”
Those long days start by picking up the truck from its commissary in Brooklyn by 9 a.m. Prior to leaving, the truck’s stock is checked and all slushes and mix-ins are prepared.
“Then it is off to the day’s parking spot to sell slush – which is the fun part of the job,” Rein said. The truck’s favorite spots are around Madison Square Park.
“There are a lot of people who go to hang out in the park or shop in the neighborhood,” Rein said. Additionally, the area is home to many office buildings.
The day doesn’t wrap up until 10 p.m., when it’s back to the commissary for a daily scrub down.
By the end of their first summer, Alex had found out that his truck had been nominated for a Vendy Award.
“It was awesome because we were such a new truck and it felt as though it validated us and the product,” he said.
They went on to receive the 2010 Best Dessert Award – the first time it was that category was taken by a rookie.
The momentum continued through the 2011 season, despite it becoming “more and more challenging to find good parking spaces to vend from.”
Rein, who said he’s “looking into several different options for expansion,” is currently building a cart for a NYC Park on 6th Avenue and Bleecker Street, which he’s hoping to open in 2012.
One thing’s for sure: Slushes – they’re not just for kids anymore.
Siobhan Wallace is the co-founder of BlondieandBrownie.com.