What were your roles at Bon Me?
I started in the restaurant, commissary, and truck simultaneously to see where my strengths were and to be placed where I was most useful. I eventually spent the majority of my time as a shift manager for [the] Yellow and Blue [trucks].
Tell us a little about your job right now.
I am one of the founders and owners at Fresh Food Generation so every day looks a little different. I wear many different hats, so I could be training new staff, acting as the kitchen manager, hopping on the truck, working at the cafe, doing a catering drop, ordering food, taking inventory, or working on bigger project for FFG.
What's the most important lesson you learned during your time at Bon Me that helped you get where you are today?
On the technical side, Bon Me taught me about food flow and the business of running a food truck. How to build a truck, what propane is/does, how to jump a truck battery, how to replace a truck battery. On the less tangible side, I came to appreciate how hard Ali and Pat worked to get Bon Me to where it is today. They were both super supportive and willing to give advice after a long day of work. They also let us use their kitchen in Roxbury to do some of our first events which was unbelievably generous.
What advice do you have for people wanting to grow their career in the food industry?
The food industry is tough, really tough. So there are three things to keep in mind:
- First, you have got to be passionate about what you're doing because you will struggle and hit road blocks along the way. You will also make mistakes and have to correct them. You need to have blind optimism that your food dream will work and then work stupid hard to make it happen.
- The second thing to consider is how long you want to work in the food [industry]. If it's 1 year, your career won't get that far. You need to give 5-10 years of your life to become somewhat proficient in what you do. If that's too much time, it might be worth looking into something else.
- Finally, if you are starting a business, realize that whatever gets you excited about working in food, it's probably only going to be about 5-10% of your time in your own business. There are two solutions to this; one is to get a business partner who has strengths that you lack so that they can handle some of the workload; or get ready to learn about a lot of things that you had little interest in learning in the first place.
What's your favorite food from Bon Me?
Definitely the Bon Me Sandwich, Tofu, no pate, extra pickles, and jalapeño.