COLUMBUS — Eggs: they are not just for breakfast anymore.
At least that’s what Jim Chakeres and the Ohio Poultry Association want you to know as they launch their new restaurant on wheels on the streets of Columbus.
When the Ohio Poultry Association board came together almost a year ago, they were looking for new ideas to promote the industry.
Chakeres, executive vice president of the Ohio Poultry Association, shared his idea for a food truck. He thought of the idea after traveling to Portland, Oregon, where he noticed they have a “vibrant food truck scene.”
“The Columbus food truck scene has also grown a lot over the past year,” he said. Trying to come up with a creative approach to marketing Ohio’s egg and poultry industry, the board first considered sponsoring a food truck, and then considered purchasing their own.
With the help of others in the food truck business, Chakeres was able to locate a used truck with all the equipment they would need. The truck was purchased with dollars from programs like the egg checkoff program and some funding through the Ohio Poultry Association.
“The concept is fun and different,” said Chakeres. “It took some time to land on the right concept and name.”
The association had been using the “I am in a Fowl Mood” slogan on T-shirts sold at the Ohio State Fair.
“During a food truck meeting one day, we looked at each and said we already have a great concept, and the Fowl Mood Food Truck was born,” said Chakeres.
An industry partner
“We wanted a viable business, but we didn’t want to deal with the staffing and day-to-day operations of the truck,” said Chakeres.
The association partnered with Neil Hertenstein, who currently runs three other Columbus food trucks, The Hungry Monkey, Junior’s Tacos and Melty Crue. He will be handling the staffing and day-to-day truck operations.
Developing the concept
After purchasing the truck in July, it took the association around three months to develop the concept, the graphics for the truck, and the most important piece of the puzzle, the menu. Using Hertenstein’s expertise in the food truck industry, the association was able to take recipes they already had and develop them into items better suited for the food truck.
Some of these breakfast menu items include: a fried egg sandwich topped with peppers, onions and provolone cheese, and a classic breakfast of eggs and toast and hash browns. Lunch items include: chicken and turkey sandwiches, egg salads and deviled eggs.
Incorporating eggs into breakfast, lunch and dinner is a way to show that eggs are not just for breakfast and “provide that extra protein,” said Chakeres.
Good for farmers
“I think it is going to be good for the egg and poultry industry overall,” said Wayne Troyer, Ohio Poultry Association board member and manager of Sauder’s Eggs in Winesburg, Ohio.
Troyer said he could “definitely” see some of their eggs going to supply the truck and feels it’s a good resource for Ohio’s egg and poultry producers.
On the road
The Fowl Mood Food Truck made its first appearance at the Ohio State University and University of Minnesota football game, Nov. 7, in Columbus, where they distributed more than 3,000 samples of deviled eggs. A launch party was held the next day at North High Brewing Co. in Columbus, which attracted around 100 people.
Chakeres said they have planned for a regular monthly outing at the Ohio Department of Agriculture and have planned for the truck to be at Actual Brewing Co. in Columbus in the near future. There is no permanent location for the truck.
“I think it is a great idea. Definitely good to promote a very important industry in the state of Ohio,” said Troyer.
Fowl Mood Food Truck is also available for private events and catering by calling 614-397-0527 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ohio is the second-largest egg-producing state, producing more than 8.7 billion eggs each year. Ohio also produces 219 million pounds of turkey and 379 million pounds of chicken each year.
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