We are almost to the finish line! We need one last push to cover the costs of a logo and wrap (a wrap is the really cool and expensive graphic design that covers trucks), then we'll be on the St. Louis streets!
How we got here: Owning and operating a food truck is something Kyle and I have talked about for years, but it didn't seem like an obtainable dream. The time was never right, we didn't have the extra money, and who could we trust to run our dream with both of us working full-time?
As fate would have it, everything just fell into place. I got laid off from a job that I loved, and while trying to come to grips with this unexpected turn of events, we heard about a food truck that had just become available. At first it seemed crazy- we had just lost a big chunk of our income and now we were considering investing a large portion of our savings??? We went to see the truck, just to "look" and a few hours later it was ours. We realized that despite our recent setback, the time and circumstances couldn't be more perfect!
Who we are: We are Kyle and Kimberly Patterson; we've been married for 15 years and have a wonderful 11 year old son. We met and fell in love while working together in a restaurant, and have since run our own restaurant together- so be assured that we aren't jumping into this blindly! Between the two of us, we have over 45 years of restaurant experience. Kyle started cooking professionally in his early 20's and for the last 7 years he has been the executive chef at a wonderful restaurant in downtown St. Louis. I worked as a host, server, bartender and manager in several restaurants from the time I was a teen until Kyle and I decided to start a family.
What we'll serve: As you saw in the video, our truck is already equipped with a grill and a six foot tall smoker, so if you're thinking barbecue you'll be right- sort of. Smokin' Monkey will be so much more than a barbecue truck! Yes, we will have pulled pork sandwiches and barbecued ribs, but we'll also have duck confit tacos, jerk chicken, shrimp lollipops, veggie skewers and more!
Kyle and I have taken our love of the islands and merged these fresh tropical flavors with meats and vegetables that will be primarily cooked in the smoker or on the grill. We will serve food that is locally and naturally grown and raised whenever possible, and keep our business as green as costs allow.
What's Left? Not much! We have a fully equipped truck, a commercial kitchen to use, funds set aside to cover operating expenses for the first several months, staff, a business plan, and all of the licenses and permits needed for the city of St. Louis-including a 100% score from the health department! Other than turning in a few additional forms to St. Louis county and getting the truck wrapped, we are ready for business!
Please visit this page frequently- as soon as we have the final logo and full design for the wrap I'll post an update here so you can see where your money is going. Also, is there something else you'd prefer as a reward? Just let us know and we'll be glad to discuss it!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge we will face is building a strong and loyal following. Fortunately, we already have many friends that are spreading the word, several businesses that have already requested that we visit on a regular basis, and in addition to the usual office complexes, we have a very busy night club that wants us there every Saturday night, as well as a sports park that has requested us most Friday nights and Saturday afternoons. In addition to this, we are extremely lucky to have two of the oldest and best food trucks in St. Louis acting as our mentors!
So with a little help from you to get us over the final hump, you can bet that Smokin' Monkey will be on the streets very soon and for a long time to come!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We want everyone to get their money's worth, so just let us know what you would like and we will do what we can to make it happen!
Thanks for asking! We will also be in the county. In fact, we should have our county license by the end of this week!
Yes! We are working on some good vegetarian (and vegan) options that still fit with our overall theme. Right now we have a veggie skewer that will be served on a bed of rice & peas as well as a pulled mushroom barbecue sandwich. We will gladly add more as interest dictates, and are always looking for suggestions. Be sure to let us know if there's something you'd like us to consider, and if there is something that you definitely want to see on the menu, there's a reward for that!
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- (28 days)