On Sunday, May 20th, we got to be a part of The Vegan Market in Somerville. This incredible community event was hosted by Katie Upchurch of Soy Much Brighter Candle Co. and Tamara Lyn of Striped Cat Metal Works. The event space at Warehouse XI was filled with stellar, shining plant-based vendors, sharing their food, art, homegoods, and beauty products to the huge and very enthusiastic crowds.
Bartleby’s joined up with the team from Food by Grubby’s to create a special seitan combo plate. Brie Swift, the fearless leader of Grubby’s, provided her now-famous seitan wings (which I happily scarfed down during the New England VegFest in April―so good!) and my team provided the nuggets. We were all blown away by the nonstop line of hungry customers. You were at least 30 devils deep the entire day!
My Favorite Thing
This was the first event I worked without my truck, and I learned a lot. It was way cool to be shoulder-to-shoulder with our customers, as opposed to communicating through the window of the truck. I felt like I was able to talk to so many more people and see so many more smiling faces. My favorite part of working in the food industry has always been serving people, and the Vegan Market reminded me of that. I loved that every time I handed someone their nuggets, their face lit up!
My Least Favorite Thing
The truck has two commercial-grade deep fat fryers installed to keep up with our demand. I couldn’t take my truck with those hearty appliances to the Vegan Market, so I had only one table-top fryer at my disposal (electrical power was shared, and so we could only drain so much before risking a blown fuse). This little fryer did the best he could, but it was slow going, especially compared to the pace we’ve become accustomed to in the truck. My least favorite part about working in the food industry is disappointing people. Even though we had prepped plenty of food for the day, our slowed pace prevented us from being able to serve everyone. I was heartbroken to have to turn away those patient folks who had been waiting in line for so long. I hope you can come find our truck on the streets and let me serve you hot, crispy, craggy nuggets, fast and with plenty of sauce, just the way Bartleby intended.
I’m committed now to ensuring that my setup can serve each person that arrives to eat with us, and to serve them the best food that I can make. It doesn’t matter if that’s in the truck, at a table, or on a boat (cause who doesn’t want to eat nuggets on a boat?). I still have a lot to learn about electrical hook-ups, and I think now I will push to bring my truck to events whenever possible. I love that truck, all the equipment in it, all the food I serve out of it, and all you hungry devils that gobble it up.
I love chocolate. Especially Taza Chocolate. It’s just better. That’s why I was so excited that Bartleby’s could be a part of the Taza Block Party on Saturday, May 5th. Taza is a great company, led by great people who work hard to create a delicious and unique chocolate that is both minimally processed and made from ethically sourced cacao. I was honored to be celebrating spring with them.
The annual event is a chance to connect with the friendly vendors and citizens of Somerville. I’ve lived in Somerville for two and a half years, so it felt special to serve food to my fellow residents, and my neighbors. I’ve been driving the big blue and orange Bartleby’s truck all around the city of Boston, and having blast doing that, but it was so nice to be sharing food in the place that I call home.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by and made the day great, and a big thanks to Taza for hosting such an incredible event for the community.
[And thanks to @thomasdtran for capturing the perfect image of the day! We're glad you tagged us.]
Our first-ever VegFest was an incredible experience. I was so humbled by the amount of people who lined up to try Bartleby’s Seitan Stand. The day went by lickety-split and we completely sold out by the end of the event! Thank you to everyone who braved the long lines with patience and good cheer while we worked as fast as possible to get you fed.
I was happy and proud to be among the many vegan vendors, each passionate and excited to share their wares with the crowds. 2018 was a hugely successful year for VegFest―over two thousand hungry folks came out to dine and show their support. They’re proof that the plant-based lifestyle is growing in popularity. I love it!
You devils gave us some awesome feedback during the day as well! Just a few of the highlights:
When we announced our service would be postponed for a week because our generator died, we received so many uplifting messages from customers and fellow food trucks. Thank you so much for being patient as Bartleby underwent transplant surgery. His new generator is in and working just fine.
To our customers: You fiercely loyal devils! Thank you for following along, rooting for us, and sending hilarious “get well soon” messages. We are officially back on the streets and operating on our regular schedule. I seriously cannot wait to feed you all delicious ah-mazing food from our big blue and orange truck―powered by our beautiful new generator. Your kind words kept my chin up and spirits lifted.
To our food truck comrades: Thank you for the tips, tricks, and reminders to have fun. From generator maintenance, to jokes on the pleasures of securing permits, to trading food from window to window, this newbie is already thrilled to be a part of the incredibly welcoming food truck community.
On this bumpy road, I’ve learned an important lesson: food trucks can break, but you can always fix ‘em.
On Sunday, we posted up at the Walk for Change, which supports the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) in bringing awareness and raising funds to end sexual violence. This event has been held annually since 2006 and is a day of community, healing, awareness, and hope. BARCC is a national leader in sexual violence response and prevention, and we were honored to participate this year. We donated 5% of our sales from the day. With continued support, BARCC services can remain free for survivors and their loved ones.
This also marked our first official event (meaning a non-weekday service). And you came out in droves! It was a beautiful sunny day, and we were thrilled to see so many smiling faces at the counter of our big blue and orange truck. Thank you!