We're Derrick and Alex, and we're bringing our tasty BBQ to Morgantown, West Virginia! It may be hard to believe, but there are no BBQ joints in Morgantown. Imagine that nearly 60,000 locals and WVU students are deprived - each and every day - from enjoying delicious, flavorful, slow-smoked BBQ. How can this great American city possibly survive with out BBQ?! So we decided to do something about it! Pitmaster Derrick Shanks and Chef Alex Schoetz started Woodburn Shanks BBQ truck to provide the tastiest, smokiest BBQ that Morgantown-ites have ever tasted! And we mean ever!
Here's a sampling of our menu:
- Tasty Racks of Ribs: Our “fall off the bone” ribs are rubbed with Kansas City style seasoning and smoked to perfection.
- BBQ Sundae: Delicious mashed potatoes topped with a hefty serving of our special, succulent pulled pork, cheezy corn, green beans, and homemade coleslaw. You’ve never tasted anything more satisfying! It’s our signature dish, and we promise you’ll be hooked for life!
- Pulled Pork Sandwich: A pulled pork sandwich topped with coleslaw. Choice of Kansas City or North Carolina style.
- Pulled Pork or Pulled Chicken Taco: Two soft tacos served with your choice of meats!
- Cheezy Corn: Our killer side of sweet corn, simmered in our secret sauce of smokey, melty American cheeses.
- Southern-style Green Beans: These beans are slow simmered with bacon. Mmmm bacon.
- Homemade Coleslaw: Carolina style slaw is a cool contrast to our other sides.
- Mashed Potatoes: Creamy, buttery, and delicious, our go-to side.
We are nearly finished, and have a little ways to go! We have a great-running, heavy duty truck; 3 custom-welded smokers, which were formerly used by a maple syrup producer in Vermont; and a kitchen location for prep work, as required by law. We hope to start serving Woodburn Shanks BBQ by mid-January! Here’s where your generous donations fit in:
1) Equipment! Our 1980 truck is super reliable, but we need a generator and code compliant steam table.
2) Regulations, Licenses, and paperwork, oh my!! After many conversations with health inspectors, the fire code inspectors, our attorney and other county officials, we feel confident we will be ready to go in January. The big surprise was that Morgantown requires all food vendors to have a code compliant home base in addition to the truck.We have our spot picked but this added some unexpected expenses such as rent and insurance for premises liability.
3) Food! Morgantown-ites are super, SUPER excited for Woodburn Shanks to serve-up tasty BBQ. In anticipation of a blockbuster, sell-out month, we need around $4,000 in initial food inventory before we can sustain our own supplies.
About Derrick and Alex
Pitmaster Derrick Shanks was born and raised in Wichita, KS. He learned from an early age BBQ was his favorite food. So he built a smoker and forged his technique. It’s a slow and long process to make excellent BBQ and Derrick is truly a master.In addition to his experience as a pitmaster, Derrick worked as a graphic designer for ebay. He has experience in customer service, marketing, design, and promotional campaigns. These important skills help keep costs down to a minimum. For example, the Woodburn Shanks BBQ logo, t-shirt, web design, and other promotional materials were all developed by Derrick.
Chef Alex Schoetz is a classically trained chef with over 10 years of experience. Raised in Durham North Carolina, Alex was an executive chef at several restaurants in Washington, D.C. and Morgantown, W.V. His skills include managing upscale, high-volume kitchens with efficiency and passion.
Derrick and Alex are combining their skills to run the best BBQ joint in West Virginia!From the bottom of our hearts: Thank you for supporting Woodburn Shanks BBQ! We couldn't follow our passions to serve tasty BBQ to our great city of without YOUR support!
Risks and challenges
Food trucks face many of the same risks of any restaurant like undercapitalization, poor inventory management, serving poorly prepared food. In addition, food trucks face fender-benders, parking issues, and mechanical problems. We're also starting our business in January, the coldest time of the year in Morgantown.
As with any business, the best we can do is be prepared as possible. We have to be nimble enough to adapt when things go wrong. That's why our business plan focuses on reducing risks by serving extremely reliable and delicious BBQ, building support within the local community, and having enough capital to see us through the tough months.
In addition to our business plan, we have a strong network of friends and local contacts we can rely on when things don't go as planned. Not only that, but Derrick and Alex have a long history of lessons learned from past experience related to fixing cars and trucks, customer service, and financing and food preparation.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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