Biz Beat

Food Fix hits the streets of Modesto

Customers line up to order at the Food Fix truck, which was parked in the Best Buy parking lot on Sisk Road in Modesto on Wednesday.
Customers line up to order at the Food Fix truck, which was parked in the Best Buy parking lot on Sisk Road in Modesto on Wednesday. pguerra@modbee.com

Hank Olson has achieved his bright orange, four-wheeled dream.

Last week, Olson opened the Food Fix truck, which features local food and from-scratch recipes.

His specialty is the “porkstrami” sandwich, which I tried, fittingly enough, on National Pastrami Day – which was Wednesday, as I am sure you knew. It comes on a homemade pretzel bun.

Regional Content Editor David W. Hill, who previously wrote this column and is somewhat of an authority on business and food, had the sandwich and proclaimed it very tasty. His take:

“Those porkstrami sandwiches are definitely worth getting messy with. The porkstrami meat was thoroughly cooked and very tender, not always the case with a meat sandwich. The homemade bun is a bit large and covered with sauce, but the reward is well worth digging into. Besides, as long as you’re wearing a very loud Hawaiian shirt, it will blend right in. So, yes, I’ll take a porkstrami san and large diet drink to balance it out. Extra napkins, please.”

Olson, who teaches culinary classes at the Institute of Technology in Modesto, raised the money for his truck last year through the online crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

In a little more than a month, Olson collected pledges of $19,379, well ahead of his $18,000 goal. He obtained the truck and the necessary permits, perfected his recipes and hit the road.

More accurately, Olson’s cousin and best friend, Jeremiah Johnson, hit the road. Olson is keeping his day job teaching as his effort gets off the ground.

Business has been good so far, Olson said, through word of (very satisfied) mouth.

“It’s been better than we expected,” Olson said. Folks find the truck by following it on social media – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. He is also getting catering jobs, including employee functions, baby showers and birthday parties.

Olson isn’t done dreaming. Next up, he says: A brick-and-mortar restaurant.

“The Food Fix Bistro,” he said. “Somewhere you could sit down, have a beer or a glass of wine and enjoy.”

Find the Food Fix truck at www.foodfixtruck.com or call (510) 406-1117.


ELSEWHERE AROUND THE BUSINESS BEAT: Abercrombie Kids at Vintage Faire Mall is closing. The company issued a notice to Stanislaus County earlier this month, as required by the Worker Training and Retraining Notification Act.

WARN notices, as they’re called, are required when a company is planning mass layoffs. For the most part, that means job losses of 100 or more. According to the notice issued by Abercrombie, the closure will affect 65 jobs.

That seemed a lot for a small clothing store, so I checked with a spokeswoman for the company, who said the store employs 62 people.

The parent company also operates Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister stores in the mall; those who would like to keep their jobs can get positions at one of those stores, the spokeswoman said.

According to the notice, the store will close by Jan. 28. Abercrombie & Fitch will be moving into the site of Abercrombie Kids.

I asked mall marketing manager Annie Amies if anything was set to go into the vacancy; she said she didn’t have any information regarding that space.

▪ Prime Shine continues to grow. A new carwash, the locally owned chain’s 16th, opened Dec. 23 at Whitmore Avenue and Mitchell Road.

According to a news release, Prime Shine and a new Cruisers gas station and convenience store are located on the busy corner once occupied by Barbour’s Save Center, a popular Ceres business for almost 50 years.

“We partnered with our good friends at Cruisers for the ultimate in convenience,” Prime Shine President Evan Porges said in the release. “Fill up your tank, get a cup of coffee and wash your car all in one convenient location.”

Have an item for Business Beat? Breaking News Editor Patty Guerra can be reached at pguerra@modbee.com or (209) 578-2343. Follow her on Twitter @PattyGuerra.

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