Paying the costs to be your own boss
words by Chris Horne; photos by Ilenia Pezzaniti
Heather & Matt Ulichney have put everything on the line to make their upscale food truck, The Square Scullery, a reality. But that’s almost every entrepreneur’s story. It’s almost certainly the case for all the “Akropreneurs” we’ve met. So while it’s important to understand how someone could put in 100 hours a week, what’s really fascinating is why they would.
For the Ulichneys, it’s because they want to raise the bar, not just for food trucks but for Akron on the whole. That fancypants menu of theirs isn’t about showing off. It’s about doing it the right way, which is how they do their part to help the city grow.
“We do it because we know what the potential is here,” Heather says. “We know what Akron can be.”
That’s why they spent a full year working on “Big Betty”. Working off a digital model Heather made, it took them a year to renovate the truck, which included moving the service window from one side to the other because originally it was an old Snap-on Tools truck.
The whole time that they were ripping out stuff and rebuilding from the floor up, Matt and Heather were taking care of their two kids and working overtime at their “day jobs” to keep the bills paid. Fortunately, Matt’s dad is a contractor who was able to lend a hand so this first part of the dream, the conversion project, could come true.
Once “Big Betty” finally hit the road, they knew they’d made the right decision. Their debut was at Gypsy Grace and The Vintage Goat in Highland Square and they got slammed. But they handled it like champs and they haven’t turned back since.
Now, they’re not only gearing up for their second season, feeding a fanbase hungry for their trademark fried Brussels sprouts, but they’re trying to make Akron a better place for food trucks in general. But that’s a story for another day. Promise.
In the meantime, you can catch them all around Akron, including every Third Thursday at our Live at Lock 4 events and at Signal Tree Fest on Sat., July 29 in Lock 3.
Starting May 4, Matt, Heather and Big Betty return to Gypsy Grace and the Vintage Goat for the “Truck Meets Goat Summer Series”, their monthly 1st Thursday dinner shindigs from 4 PM to 8 PM through October.
More info about the Square Scullery is available at akronfoodtruck.com and facebook.com/SquareScullery