Food truck dream becomes reality across the Kansas City-area

Food truck dream becomes reality across the Kansas City-area


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — You may soon be seeing more food trucks pop up throughout the Kansas City metro.

Business experts are seeing a surge in people wanting to break into the industry.

For brothers Clayton and Tucker Caleb, it was losing their jobs in the hotel industry during the pandemic that pushed them to pursue their dream of starting their own business.

The two opened the Big Red Food Truck in Sept. 2020.

“This was our kick in the rear to get it done,” Clayton Caleb said.

The brothers purchased a truck and drove it back from Texas to start cooking smash-burgers for Kansas City foodies.

They’re part of a wave of entrepreneurs looking to get into the ever-growing industry.

Clayton Caleb said he’s not surprised to hear about the surge in interest amid the pandemic.

“There’s a large amount of jobs that are lost so naturally people are looking for different types of work, and food trucks is that option,” Clayton Caleb said. “There are a lot of people that are passionate for food.”

He said the business allows the flexibility to change if it isn’t going well.

“It’s really in your hands and that was what we were looking for,” Clayton Caleb said.

The food truck dream is becoming a reality for entrepreneurs across the Kansas City-area.

KCSourceLink is an organization that provides assistance and resources to people starting, scaling or accelerating businesses in the Kansas City area.

Network builder Jenny Miller said the organization’s hotline has recently seen an uptick in calls for assistance about food trucks, with the pandemic likely playing a large role.

“A lot of people have been at home, have been tweaking those recipes, having maybe seen that I need to do something that’s going to fulfill me as a person,” Miller said.

For food truck hopefuls looking for more information, there will be a food trucking 101 training course April 11 at the Mid-Continent Public Library.

Crystal Nievs, owner of TamaleonKC Food Truck, was devastated to lose her job at the restaurant she had worked for and climbed the ladder at for more than ten years.

“I thought where am I going to go, do I go to another restaurant,” Nievs said.

Nievs said her husband pushed her to fulfill a dream of owning a food truck.

“We put everything together, got our permits, our licenses, everything we needed and just hit the road to see what was out there for us,” Nievs said.

She now gets to live out her passion cooking her one-of-a-kind tamales for community members. She said the community support blows her away.

“It’s a blessing for the person running it, the fact that you took the time to stop and give them a try and here at TamaleonKC you won’t be disappointed,” Nievs said.

Nievs is grateful for the difficult road that led her to where she is now.

“I didn’t think that it would fall into place the way it did and because it did fall into place like that I feel it’s a blessing,”Nievs said.

TamaleonKC is set up in front of Ridgewood Donuts at 4309 Blue Ridge Blvd, Kansas City, Missouri on Tuesday and Friday evenings and Saturday mornings.

The Rebound Kansas City is our effort is to help metro residents play a role in moving our community forward. We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas to via email to [email protected] and we welcome you to join in the conversation on the Rebound KC Facebook Group.

Whether you’re Getting Back to Work after a layoff, need help Making Ends Meet during these trying times or need tips on Managing the Pressure we’re all feeling, The Rebound has resources to find help. We’ll also make sure local leaders are Doing What’s Right to get Kansas City back track after a three-month shutdown.

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