KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Mother Nature has put the brakes on food truck operations, forcing vendors to think outside their normal business practices.
Food truck owners know business is rarely lucrative during the winter months, but some have found a way to stay open despite the unforgiving weather this season.
Kate Bryan, who owns Seven Swans Creperie, is one of at least two food truck vendors that have setup shop inside warehouses in the Crossroads District.
“I kind of thought I could keep cruising through the winter but with the weekend storms it’s been really tough,” Bryan said. "It’s my first winter doing this full-time.”
Bryan's source of income is based solely on the success of her food truck.
“I expected come winter that things were going to shift,” Bryan said. “That’s to be expected. But it’s also hard to find full-time winter employment, and so I just had to get creative on how to make this work during the winter.”
She asked the owner of the warehouse that she normally stores her truck if he would be OK with her opening shop inside his space, located near East 18th and Charlotte -- and he agreed.
“It’s a fun little winter experiment, and we’ve had some really wonderful weekends,” Bryan said.
Around the corner, near East 19th and Holmes, Christine Clutton, the owner of The Wild Way Coffee, moved her food truck into a smaller warehouse for the winter.
“With entrepreneurship, you always have to find a way,” Clutton said. “I just think it makes sense from a business perspective.”
Clutton started looking for an indoor space for her truck last summer.
“I’m in two competing worlds,” Clutton said. “In the coffee world you have to be super consistent, normal, easy and convenient, and then I’m in the food truck world, which is opposite all those things. So I knew I had to find a way to marry them both in the winter.”
She also needed to find a space because she didn’t want to risk the outside elements damaging her machines.
“So many parts of my equipment are all water-based, and so pipes can freeze and you can have equipment issues,” Clutton said.
Both Bryan and Clutton said business has been good. They rely heavily on social media for marketing.
Seven Swans Creperie is located at 1815 Charlotte St. Their business hours are Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Wild Way Coffee is located at 708 E. 19th St. Their business hours are Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.