Ben Boger’s first food truck ride with Cowabunga was over a year ago on April 6. And, in the course of that year, you could see Cowabunga becoming more and more popular, popping up at more festivals, and even hitting up Two Roads Brewery in Stratford. That kind of success is awesome and doesn’t come by with no effort. Instead, Ben has been working hard behind the scenes on a brand new, updated version of his food truck. One of the biggest changes that he introduced was (quite appropriately) at the Fairfield’s Earth Day Celebration where he debuted a brand new menu. But, there’s a bigger change that you’ll notice when you take some bites of his burgers and other goodies on the truck. Cowabunga now proudly uses beef from Saugatuck Craft Butchery, bread from New York Bakery in Norwalk, and he’ll be using veggies from local farmers’ markets whenever possible.
Ben was kind enough to talk with us for a bit about how Cowabunga has done, the changes to the menu (including milkshakes), and how life’s been pretty gnarly.
1) How has business been from when you first launched last year until now?
There was so much to do prior to the launch. I had to have the truck retro-fitted, create the logo, come up with a menu, etc. When we launched, we were still trying to figure out the best way to navigate around the truck. Now, after a year has passed, we are “seasoned” veterans. We were pleased with our first year, but know the best is yet to come!
2) What were some of your best sellers on the truck?
Our classic cheeseburger has always been our most popular item. The Cowabunga Burger with pepper jack cheese, bacon, grilled peppers and onions is probably second.
3) What are some of the changes that you made to the food that you’re using on the truck?
The biggest and best change that we made this year was to switch meat from quality frozen beef to pasture-raised, locally sourced beef that’s always fresh hand-made patties. Another major change is that we no longer have soft-serve ice cream. The idea was great in theory only. To replace that, we now serve milkshakes and will also feature our fried Oreos with powdered sugar.
4) What prompted this change?
The soft serve machine couldn’t be used while cooking food because the truck gets way too hot! (We could only use it at private parties after the grill cooled off). Now you can get a burger, fries, and a shake at any event we do! As far as the change in the meat, that was obvious! We always wanted to serve our customers the freshest, most humane product we could. With a year of experience in the food truck, I have a better idea of how events and festivals go. Therefore, I know roughly how many burgers I need.
5) Have you received any feedback yet regarding the changes or noticed a difference?
We released the new menu last Saturday at the Fairfield Earth Day Fest. I was nervous how the crowd would react to the change leading up to the event. The reception was great! People have no problem paying a little extra for a superior product.
6) What are your plans for this spring and summer…anything up your sleeve or great events that you are excited about?
We just want the business to grow. I believe it will now. I’m really excited about the Greenwich Town Party! Serving burgers while listening to Carlos Santana play…I don’t think you can beat that!
For more info on hiring Ben for an event or for a catering gig, please reach him at the following places: