Holy Guacamole: Mini Food Truck Overhaul

Featuring the broad skills and “get it done” attitude at The Empire Group.

Roaming Hunger is a Los Angeles Ad Agency that specializes in “Roaming Experiential Marketing”. They help brands and businesses take their brand experience and message directly to the public using custom vehicles, such as food trucks.

The agency had taken on a project with tight timeline to deliver a custom fabricated electric vehicle with a fully health-permitted kitchen in the back. They partnered with a local (west coast) fabrication partner who finished their work and shipped the cart directly from LA to Boston for the launch of a multi-city college campus tour.

Andrew Cagan, Roaming Hunger’s Sr Director of Strategy and Operations, and his team saw the cart for the first time when it was backed out its trailer in Boston.

“Our mouths just dropped” said Cagan. “It was sloppy, largely unfinished, did not work particularly well, and most certainly did not live up to our expectations. We had to find a solution. On the recommendation of an old friend from college, I learned about Jason Enos and his Company and explained our situation. A few texts and videos later, Jason had agreed to come up to Boston to take a look. The next day we reviewed the project and that evening the cart was dropped off at Empire”.

Work on the mini avocado food truck begins! 

Work on the mini avocado food truck begins! 

The Empire shop team, led by Dan Palardy tackled the project immediately and knew they had their work cut out for them. The prior work was definitely sloppy, with one sharp edge sending foreman John Santaniello to the hospital for stitches (he was back on the job within hours). “We had to basically start over to get it right” said Palardy. “That was actually easier than patching over the problems. Fortunately, we have the skills to handle the welding, bodywork, electrical and painting. We’ve worked on plenty of vehicles over the years – although most of them are designed to run a LOT faster. The biggest challenge was the 7 day turnaround time for the entire project. We went after the core issues first and put a person in place for each step. We are very lucky to have a very committed crew ready to see this project through under the time constraint. We still need to have the same attention to detail people count on us for.”

After just 1 short week the cart was returned and ready for the next Roaming Hunger tour stop in Maryland.

“The difference was night and day,” said a relieved Cagan. “The product that rolled out of their shop was finished to a phenomenal standard, and they even invented a method for getting it in and out of its trailer more efficiently. Jason and his team were extremely helpful and flexible. He recognized that we were in a tight spot and he didn’t give me a hard time on some things that he probably could have. The team were super communicative, sending me photos after I had made my way back to Los Angeles, and even helped coordinate transporting the cart to Maryland in time for its re-debut. Without them, I’m not sure what we would have done”.