May 17 update: Pierogi Wagon just announced that it reached its goal of raising $15,000 on Kickstarter.
Chicago's wealth of food trucks is vast and varied--you can find pretty much any food on wheels. A couple from Ravenswood wants to add pierogis to that list.
Damian Warzecha, 26, and Jessica Whitney, 23, met when they worked at the same restaurant, and have since started a marketing company, Whisk Social, and started a family. But they missed the bustle of the service industry and hoped to start a food truck. Warzecha is Polish, and Whitney is Ukrainian, so pierogis were both an obvious and meaningful choice.
"We both have a little different recipes from our families, different concepts, different ways of making dough and ingredients, so we'll be mixing and matching, finding the best recipes for the streets," Warzecha said.
The problem was finding the capital to start the truck, according to their press release, so they began a Kickstarter. Warzecha said Whisk Social armed them with some of the savvy they needed for such a DIY campaign.
"The Kickstarter and social media marketing ideas, this all came from the company," he said. "Most of our attention is on social media. There's no print or direct advertising, so we're running on a very small scale model."
Their goal of $15,000 needs to be reached by May 20, and they're currently sitting at slightly more than $1,000. The incentives range from an order of pierogis to a VIP skip-the-line pass. They'll have a few staple items and plan to experiment with more exotic flavors, all of which will be served with dipping sauce.
"It's just the first draft of the menu right now. We worry about the reliability and consistency of the food first," Warzecha said. "So we'll have a couple different flavors and sauces that will be set, with basic ingredients that everyone knows and loves."
He said the most important part of it all is having tasty food: as long as they have that, he's not worried about whether the Kickstarter fund succeeds or not, he said, because "nothing will stop us from going forward." The pair is planning to begin near North Avenue Beach, Clark Street and local colleges, but they really crave a return to the streets, where Warzecha said serving food is a special task.
"Hospitality is something unique and special. I'm really looking forward to meeting with people, greeting and talking with them, and serving them great food," he said. "That's what it's all about. The vigor of street and crowds."
To fund their project or look at their mouthwatering preliminary menu, visit their Kickstarter page.
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