There will not just be smoke blowing when the Blowin’ Smoke food truck is in the area, but also, some delicious aromas of barbequed meat. Blowin’ Smoke BBQ and Catering is just finishing a long process to get their food truck up to code and ready to feed hungry people in the area.
Kyle and Katia Brundage came up with the idea for the new food truck about one year ago. Kyle moved to Morris in 2017 to take a position in the Morris Police Department. He worked at the Morris and Benson departments for a few years. However, he began to realize that police work was not really what he wanted to do. He was always fascinated by cooking and serving food and that idea stayed with him while struggling to make a tough decision.
Kyle met Katia when he worked at the Morris Police Department. Katia Van Tries is a 2009 graduate of Morris Area High School and attended the University of Minnesota Morris. She now works at the Stevens County Human Services office in Morris. Kyle is also a 2009 graduate of Ridgefield, CT high school. He has an associates in Law Enforcement from Ridgewater College and a bachelors in criminal justice from Bellevue University.
Kyle admits that the politics of police work helped make his decision but isn’t the total reason. He simply loves cooking and especially working with barbeque options. The couple did some research and located a vending website that included the sale of used food trucks. They found one that would fit their needs and put in an offer. The truck was in Atlanta, Georgia and was previously owned by a person from Texas.
Once they had the truck, the real work began. They had to research the laws and regulations regarding the sale of food from the food truck and those were many. Each piece of equipment needed to meet State standards and all food had to be stored and prepared in the truck. This meant some large refrigerators and freezers along with the smoker. The smoker they installed would smoke 100 pounds of meat with each cycle.
They then filled out a 5-6 page package detailing everything about the truck and equipment. There is still some exterior work needed such as signage and paint. The couple went back and forth with the state and finally were approved for their Mobile Food Unit license. The next step was to come up with some menu items. For Kyle, this is the fun part. Trying new ideas and finding out what is popular.
There are several options and combos on the menu. Basically the combos are for one meat, two meats and three meats. Each comes with one side and beverages are separate. The meat choices are brisket, ribs, pulled pork, chicken wings and a beef cajun style sausage. The sides include smoked macaroni and cheese, cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans, hand-cut fries and loaded tots. The mac and cheese and homemade fries are the most popular. However, the loaded tots are a new option with tater tots topped with cheese, bacon, pulled pork and drizzled with a tangy Carolina BBQ sauce.
Catering is also available through Blowin’ Smoke and items can be purchased in larger quantities if desired. Kyle stated that they can’t seem to keep enough of the mac and cheese on hand but he is hoping some of the other options will catch on too.
They have set up a website called bbqmorris.com and are on facebook Blowin’smokeMorris. These sites will be the best option for the public to find out where they will be and on which days. They are planning to be at several area events including festivals, celebrations and the county fair. If someone would like them to bring their trailer to an event or business they simply need to contact them through their website or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kyle and Katia have a lot of people to thank for helping them achieve their dream. Katia’s parents and family have helped a great deal, especially with getting the trailer ready. Killer B’s Handyman Service, which is her step-dad and step-brother’s business, has been instrumental in some of the work.
Kyle also stated that the businesses in Morris have been really helpful and have given him great advice. Particularly CJ and Stacy Fromm of the Met Lounge and Jen Riley of Prairie Real Estate. His goal is to not be in competition but to compliment what is already available when it comes to food trucks in the area.
As the business grows, Kyle plans to continue to try new things until he has found the perfect menu items that are popular to everyone. One of the biggest issues they face right now is finding employees to help so if you have the same interests in serving delicious food as they do, contact Kyle or Katia on their website. If they are cooking anywhere in the area, you may be able to simply follow the aroma to find their food truck.