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I'm quitting the grind, and putting YOUR money where MY mouth is. It's time to stop blogging about food, and start cooking for real.
I'm quitting the grind, and putting YOUR money where MY mouth is. It's time to stop blogging about food, and start cooking for real.
401 backers pledged $29,457 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

'Wich, Please: A Mobile Sandwich Truck in Rockland, Maine project video thumbnail
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$29,457

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For 15 years, I've spent my days in a cubicle, working a day job in marketing, sitting behind a blinking computer screen as my back curves into a question mark and my hand slowly loses sensation due to advancing carpal tunnel syndrome. 

And at night? Things get even weirder when I get home, as I draw the blinds and set up makeshift lighting rigs to take obscenely close-up photos of sandwiches for my food blog, which has a modest monthly readership of around 100,000 food-obsessed oddballs, just like me.

"Frito Pie" Grilled Cheese
"Frito Pie" Grilled Cheese

The food I write about on our blog has led to writing and photography gigs for Bon Appetit, Down East Magazine, The Guardian, Serious Eats, Food & Wine, the L.A. Weekly, as well as appearances on NBC's "Today" Show and WCSH6's "207." It's even landed me a book deal. This year, we published "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," by Tilbury House in Thomaston, Maine.

Slowly but surely, I've been making the transition from office drone to food professional. The writing and photography led to competing in cooking competitions nationwide, where I've been fortunate to either win or place in competitions sponsored by NBC, The Boston Lamb Council, Jones Dairy Farm, The Wisconsin Cheese Board.

This year, I'll be competing in Las Vegas in the invite-only "World Food Championships" for $300,000 in prizes in the "Sandwich" category. It's my second year competing; last year, we placed 13th out of 50 of the top sandwich masters in the world.

Competing in Las Vegas at the World Food Championships
Competing in Las Vegas at the World Food Championships
Competing alongside the East Ender's Meg Schroeter at the "Boston Lamb Pro-Am." We won second place.
Competing alongside the East Ender's Meg Schroeter at the "Boston Lamb Pro-Am." We won second place.

I know that it's time to execute a mid-career hail mary, and dive into the food world with both feet. It's time to stop endlessly writing and talking about food, and actually start making and serving it. Full-time.

More specifically, I want to bring an obsessive level of detail to sandwich making, and sling the finished product out of the side of a trailer, in a small-but-happening town in Midcoast Maine.

Making Velveeta on WCSH6's "207," with Rob Caldwell
Making Velveeta on WCSH6's "207," with Rob Caldwell

Not just sandwiches. Incredible sandwiches, baked on fresh, crusty bread and filled with braised meats and locally-produced cheeses. Highbrow sandwiches made with garlic-roasted asparagus and quick-pickled onions in the summer. Lowbrow sandwiches packed with homemade lamb chili and cheese in the winter. 

Building a "Meatloaf Parmagiana"
Building a "Meatloaf Parmagiana"

A menu that changes with the season, with just a few items designed to appeal to the different desires of tourists and locals alike, served out of the side of a mobile kitchen, at prices so low, everyone can enjoy something new and interesting for lunch, every single day.

My version of a club sandwich.
My version of a club sandwich.

A fully-stocked, modern mobile concession trailer never needs oil, breaks down, or blows a fan belt.

We've got two spots secured near Main Street in downtown Rockland, Maine, a town whose full-time population of 8,000 swells to accommodate hundreds of thousands of tourists each summer. We'll stay open year-round to accommodate the needs of not just the influx of summer visitors, but also the people that live and work in town, and make Rockland such an incredible place to live.

We'll take our shot.

 Of course, we're lining up lots of cool perks for our Kickstarter backers, whether you live in the area and plan to be one of our regular customers, or if you're an out-of-towner who just shares our overall enthusiasm for sandwiches.

Here's a breakdown of the rewards you'll receive at each backing level...keep scrolling past the chalkboard to see some specifics, which we'll keep updating throughout the campaign.

At the $10 or higher backing level:

Want to show your support for the 'Wich Please truck? Or simply need something to help hold the old bumper together on your 1990 Mercury Sable with the cracked windshield and the paint-primed passenger door? All backers at the $10 pledge level or higher will receive this quality bumper sticker, custom-printed on vinyl so the colors will never fade or peel.

At the $80 backing level:

Pledge $80, and one of the perks you'll receive is this Kickstarter-exlusive, limited edition t-shirt, illustrated in the Ed Roth/Rat Fink hot rod style by Seth Mathiau, artist and owner of Rockland's own Atlantic Studios. Read this update, for more details on how this shirt was born. 

Please note that final reward designs may differ slightly from the images shown above.

Risks and challenges

As everybody knows, opening a new food venture is a risky proposition. The cost up front is high, and there's no guarantee of success. We believe that the need for a new, creative lunchtime option in Rockland is there, and we believe in the quality of the food we produce. The remaining risks and challenges lay in the day-to-day running of the business: staffing concerns, ongoing overhead costs, and maintaining inventory.

By choosing to launch our business in a concession trailer, we believe we minimize at least a few of these potential problem areas. We won't have any staff, at least not at first. Our overhead is kept to a minimum, and we won't have costs for rent or equipment, outside of our initial spend to outfit the trailer. Ongoing investment will be minimal, and the success of the business can be measured at the count of each day's receipts.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thanks for your support. We'll give you a shoutout on Twitter, and our eternal gratitude for your help with this project.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    You'll get everything in the $1 level, plus a FREE sneak preview of the kinds of food we'll serve on the truck in our full-color eCookbook, titled (you guessed it), "Wich Please."

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    16 backers
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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A super-limited edition, one-printing-only bumper sticker containing exactly one pithy saying and one "Wich, Please" logo, plus the eBook and Twitter shoutout.

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    Pledge $22 or more About $22

    FINAL DAYS! T-SHIRT ONLY LEVEL! By request, and to celebrate the last days of the campaign, we're introducing a t-shirt ONLY level. Nothing else...just one of these sweet limited-edition tees, designed by Rockland artist Seth Mathiau.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Two FREE sandwiches of your choice from our menu. Sandwiches must be redeemed in-person, because sandwiches don't mail well. Plus the bumper sticker, eBook and Twitter shoutout.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    OUT-OF-TOWNER LEVEL! Can't make it to Rockland? There's no reason for these TWO FREE sandwiches to go to waste. We'll give them to whoever you want locally, be it your friend, a family member, or just somebody you used to know. Perfect for a "Mainer-in-Exile." And if you don't know anyone in Rockland, we'll give your two sandwiches to someone who really needs them. Plus you'll get the bumper sticker, eBook and Twitter shoutout.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    FOUNDER LEVEL! You'll get everything from the $25 level, plus your name on our "Founder's Wall," which will be proudly displayed on the truck. Plus the two free sandwiches (local only), bumper sticker, eBook and Twitter shoutout.

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    66 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    You'll get a super limited-edition t-shirt, designed to share your love of sandwiches with the world, illustrated by one of our much more talented friends. PLUS your name on the wall, the two free sandwiches (local only), bumper sticker, eBook and Twitter shoutout.

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    19 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You'll get a personalized, signed copy of our book, "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road." PLUS your name on the wall, the two free sandwiches (local only), bumper sticker, eBook and Twitter shoutout.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    LUNCHBOX LEVEL! We'll send you a super cool metal lunchbox, complete with an old-school illustration of the "Wich, Please" trailer and our finalized logo. PLUS the t-shirt, the book, your name on the wall, the two free sandwiches (local only), bumper sticker, eBook and Twitter shoutout.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    INVENTOR'S LEVEL! We'll collaborate on a sandwich that YOU help design, and put it on our specials menu. We'll even name it after you! PLUS a signed copy of our book, your name on the wall, the two free sandwiches (local only), bumper sticker, eBook and Twitter shoutout.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    You'll get two tickets to one of our soft-opening events, which sounds fancier than it will probably be. But there will be free food and hobnobbing with like-minded sandwich enthusiasts! PLUS a signed copy of our book, your name on the wall, the two free sandwiches (local only), bumper sticker, eBook and Twitter shoutout.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    BARCRAWLER'S LEVEL! I'll take you on a night-long pub crawl through Rockland, Maine with a few of my friends and esteemed guests. Obviously, this perk is for locals only. PLUS a signed copy of our book, your name on the wall, the two free sandwiches (local only), bumper sticker, eBook and Twitter shoutout.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    CUBE WARRIOR LEVEL! We'll cater a (local only) lunch for your home or office (15 people max please). We'll cook and pack food to travel...you just have to come pick it up. PLUS a signed copy of our book, your name on the wall, the two free sandwiches (local only), bumper sticker, eBook and Twitter shoutout.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    You'll get "Front of Line" privileges. When the lines get long in front of our truck, you'll have our permission for cut-sies. PLUS two tickets to the soft opening, a signed copy of our book, your name on the wall, the two free sandwiches (local only), bumper sticker, eBook and Twitter shoutout.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Everything. Every single thing on this list, from all levels up until this one. It's all yours. Just take it.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    GODFATHER LEVEL. Alright, player. Here's what you'll get for "Godfather" status: We'll commission a painted portrait of you, add an engraved nameplate, put a carved gold frame around it, have it professionally lit, and display it in on the back wall of the kitchen, where every customer we ever have will be sure to see it. Forever. Plus, we'll throw in free lunch for a year (one sandwich per day maximum, locals only), and everything else on this list.

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Funding period

- (30 days)