Food Truck Blues

Have you heard about our latest venture? Or is it our latest adventure? Maybe our latest misadventure. We’ve opened a food truck serving pulled pork sandwiches, stuffed baked potatoes, and nachos. My parents used to say, “If a marriage can survive hanging wallpaper, it can survive anything.” The Franklin marriage mantra has become, “If a marriage can survive running a food truck, it can survive anything.” So far so good.


I can’t speak for the things John has learned in our month-old endeavor, but I can tell you what I’ve learned. First, the government claims they are pro small business. But they aren’t. Actually, I already knew that, but the point has been hammered into my brain. Every time I turn around, my government needs money. Honestly, they’re worse than teenagers. Health inspection, peddler’s license, tags for the trailer…the government is very needy.


Second, when John buys something for the food trailer, he shouldn’t leave it in the house or his wife is likely to eat it. Wait, that’s something my husband has learned. I’ve learned to question every new food item in our kitchen, interrogating my poor business partner until I’m satisfied it’s for personal consumption. I don’t want to run to the grocery store that’s twenty minutes down the road when we’re scheduled to open in fifteen. That’s not a mistake I’ll make twice.


Third, steps in the trailer do count on my fitness watch, even though most of them are me running back and forth trying to remember where I stored the napkins. That was a positive learning experience.


Fourth, I should always turn on the cash register to make sure it works. On our first day, I found out the hard way the credit card system wasn’t working. Most people don’t carry cash, so that created an unsolvable problem. I also learned that hungry people are grumpy people, but I’ll stick that lesson right here with my cash register experience.


I’ve learned several more lessons, but I’ll spare you the details. John and I have gotten faster and better—I’ve even learned how to add in cash tips and change an order from nachos to baked potatoes! Most importantly, I think, is that we’re learning how to work together. We’ve spent most of our marriage dividing and conquering. John does the cooking and grocery shopping and I do the cleaning and bill paying. We make decisions together and have fun together. But we haven’t tackled many projects together, because our strengths and weaknesses are complete opposites. 


This food truck is different, though. John’s strengths are in person marketing (he loves talking to people), cooking, and mechanics. My strengths are online marketing (I don’t like talking to people) and organization. We’ve brought our skills together in one project, working together and communicating with each other. It’s strengthened our marriage too.


I plan to write a mysteries series about a couple who owns a food truck and solves crime, called Grab n’ Go Mysteries. And I intend to put most of our real life stories into the books, which will be a lot of fun. To make the series more interesting, the couple will take their food truck on the road, traveling to various festivals and solving crime while the pork smokes, the cheese melts, and the potatoes bake. 


Hmm, I wonder if John and I could do that in real life, solve crime while the food cooks? A pork butt takes ten hours to smoke, and a baked potato takes an hour and a half to cook. More than enough time to solve a mystery, or two.


Jann Goar Franklin graduated Russellville High School in 1989. You can reach her at