Owner and Pastry Chef Daniel Tang. Photo courtesy of Sugar Philly.
Before the truck, I didn't have a job. I graduated in 2008 in the worst possible job market at the time so I moved home to New York with my parents. It was a tough year being away from all of my friends and job searching everyday. To get experience, I did a bunch of temporary work in New York City where I had good co-workers, great bosses, and I was making some money, but it was not very fulfilling. I baked for my co-workers, great bosses, and I was making some money, but it was not very fulfilling. I baked for my co-workers and friends all the time as a hobby and thought about going to culinary school but a bad experience working at a restaurant kept me away. I always baked because it just made people happy. A year passed and my friend from college called me up to ask if I wanted to start up this food truck idea. I was really hesitant but I knew it was an opportunity I could not pass up. And the rest is history! In January, it will be three years sine we started Sugar Philly.
Peanut Panna photo courtesy of Sugar Philly.
2. What is an average day like for your business?
My day starts around 6:30 am, and I run off to my kitchen to start baking at 7 am. From there, I bake sometimes with my helper but most of the time by myself from 7 - 11am. Then for the next hour, we load and prepare the truck to open for business at 12 noon. Once the truck opens, we start selling. We finish all of our desserts onsite. For example, we have créme brulée in our refrigerator, and we torch each one to order. We want people to have the restaurant dessert experience from a truck. Then we close up around 6:30 pm and start the whole thing over the next day.
I don't know how you would classify "food truck stalkers". We have plenty of people who follow us on Facebook and Twitter to find out our daily macaron flavors. We've also had a few people from across the nation who heard about our truck and made it a point to stop by when they were in Philly. It's all very surreal when you meet people from Chicago, Dallas, Boston, San Diego, etc., and they say they heard about your truck from food blogs, television, internet searches, or word of mouth. I will say the craziest thing someone has ever done was fly to Philly from New Orleans to come to the truck as her birthday wish. I had no idea what to say to that!
Macaroons photo courtesy of Sugar Philly.
4. What is the worst truck disaster you have encountered so far?
There have been a lot from messing up around 100 créme brulées at once to getting ticketed on the streets in our assigned spot. The worst I personally encountered was when I was driving the truck on the incline of a bridge and the engine died. No one was hurt but staying on top of a bridge waiting for a tow truck was no fun. I am also a little scared of heights.
Créme fraiché cheesecake photo courtesy of Sugar Philly.
5. Why is it important to get desserts on the go?
We believe it's important to have dessert to go because everybody needs a little pick me up during the day. From day to day, things are tough, there's someone to congratulate, someone to thank, or maybe you just want something sweet. At Sugar Philly, we want to be the ones there for those times everyday!
To learn more about Sugar Philly, visit here