Business Owner: Nicholas Watts
Business: Chedda Truck
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
To celebrate some awesome momentum we have had lately and the uncharacteristically nice weather, we invited some food trucks to come out to our office a few weeks ago. Enter Nick Watts, an energetic and rather infectious person which is seemingly a recipe for success in the food truck scene. Coupled with his personality, he really knows how to cook and has the formal training to prove it. He worked for free for eight months until he found a gig that would pay him for his talents. He really honed his skills working under Chef Laurent Tourondel at BLT Steak and hasn’t stopped since.
The Chedda Truck, in my opinion, should be called the Betta’ Food Truck. The food was made to perfection, it has the qualities other burgers aspire to have. These are no ordinary burgers. The “Mother Hen”, for example, has a fried egg which tops off a patty, bacon, sriracha aioli, and munster cheese. Yum!
Friends and Family
Nick said he draws inspiration from his friends and family— stories about them— and puts them into his food. One of his 10+ creations, the “Silly Round Eye”, comes from his brother-in-law who served in the military overseas in Asia. He said, “He speaks so highly of Asia. I think it’s like heaven to him, so I incorporated some of what he loved about it onto this burger.”
The Business’ Secret Sauce
So how did Nick and company get to where they are today? Through persistence, by gauging a growing market, and working hard. He originally had a food truck that was focused on grilled cheese sandwiches but had to close down for various reasons. In the eight months he wasn’t operating a truck, there were five other grilled cheese trucks that popped up in the area. Not wanting to hop back into a saturated genre of food, Nick wanted to do something crazy with burgers. We’re talkin’ burgers with a Krispy Kreme donut as a bun, or Mac-N-Cheese as a topping. Thus, Chedda Truck was born.
Enter Leah and Madison
Leah and Madison Catmull, sisters, are both from Arizona. These sisters not only keep each other on their toes, but they keep Nick grounded as well. Nick joked, “These two girls keep me in my place,” and Madison added, “Firmly in his place.” Though they like to take jabs at each other left and right, they have become a close knit group in their time working together.
Leah and Miranda came on board at the perfect time. Nick admitted, “Before they came on, I was at a point where I was done. I didn’t enjoy cooking and I wasn’t doing anything special anymore. Then they came and it became a party on the Chedda Truck again.” He went on to say that he chose to work with them because he trusted them and felt completely comfortable around them.
Food Truck Family
If you have been around the food truck scene, you know how competitive it can get. At food truck round ups, owners will discuss revenues, pricing, and use this info along with other insight to stay competitive. Nick has even been known to saran wrap another food truck, or wake others up with M-80s, “It was all in good nature, however. We are all part of a big food truck family,” he laughed.
Take The Competition To The Next Level
The Chedda Truck crew is trying to get into a food truck competition on the Food Network and they are hoping to ride culinary experience and camaraderie all the way to first place. If they win, Nick would love to buy another truck and eventually have six brick and mortar restaurants with four trucks.
Nick’s Entrepreneur Advice
If you are thinking about running your own food truck, or any other business for that matter, listen to what Nick has to say. “Your business isn’t just your job or a hobby. It is your life 24/7. You can’t have that ‘this is just a hobby’ mentality.” He also says that it is important to, have a good time and don’t be scared to be playful and to let loose every once in awhile. You can tell in a short conversation that Nick is operating his truck by his own sound advice, “Be prepared to hunker down when it’s time to hunker down. It might get up to 160 degrees inside your truck, but you have to push through it.”