The Boiler Monkey’s Incredible Cross Country Journey for a Bustaurant | FTE Episode 035

Matt Fuemmeler went on a trip with his wife to South America and came back determined to start a food truck. After returning state side and doing more research Fuemmeler decided that he wanted something a little bit different than the traditional style truck. Eventually, he stumbled upon a vintage bus he discovered on eBay that fit his concept so he called the owner and decided to pull the trigger. Fuemmeler bought an airplane ticket from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Seattle, Wash., and the plan was to drive the bus back home. But the journey wouldn’t go that smoothly.

On the trip home Fuemmeler’s bus would break down in Portland during rush hour… resulting in some coverage from the local news as he vehicle held up traffic. Later, he would experience tire problems in Needles, Calif., that would also slow him down. But eventually, Fuemmeler got his bus back to New Mexico where he and his brother begin the 3-month process of converting the bus into a bustaurant.

What You’ll Learn

  • How Fuemmeler learned to cook crepes by working as an employee at another food cart
  • How Fuemmeler almost serendipitously purchased vintage crepe irons off Craigslist that led him to start cooking crepes at local art events and in his backyard for friends and family.
  • Why Fuemmeler traveled to Seattle to purchase a used bus he found on eBay
  • The story how Fuemmeler’s newly purchased bus, broke down in Portland and ended up being featured on the local news for slowing down traffic.
  • How the Fuemmeler brothers used a program called Sketchup to get a digital 3D outline of the bus before starting the conversion work to ensure the refrigerator, crepe iron, sinks, and other equipment would fit. Essentially, they built the bustaurant online before ever touching the bus.
  • Some of the scrappy ways the brothers built their truck, including borrowing tools and installed their generator.
  • Fuemmeler’s thoughts on whether or not building a food truck from scratch is the right choice for you.
  • Why Fuemmeler called the city inspectors prior to even beginning the build process
  • That the Fuemmeler brothers invested about 3-months straight to build their bus
  • Why you should do research on where you can and can’t park in your city. Especially if you plan on operating a bustaurant. 🙂
  • How Fuemmeler found a niche parking at coffee shops and breweries

Mentioned During the Show

The Boiler Monkey Mobile Restaurant – This is the official home of The Boiler Monkey. Read more about the story of how Fuemmeler brothers got their mobile bistro.

Twitter – Follow the Boiler Monkey on Twitter.

Tumblr Account – In this blog, you get access to the details of the story Matt shared on the podcast. You’ll find before and after photos of the bustaurant, along with images of the build process, and descriptions of the various electrical, welding, and woodwork obstacles that were encountered along the way. But after months of hard work, the Fuemmeler brothers had their dream bus.

Molly’s Crepe Escape – This is where Fuemmeler learned the craft of crepes.

SketchUp – Program used to make a 3D model of the bus.

Why Food Trucks Fail – New blog post referenced during the podcast.

 

The Boiler Monkey – Before Photo – Looks like a lot of work!

The Boiler Monkey Before Photo

Don’t forget we’ll soon be doing a Q/A episode where I answer listener questions directly. Call 206.309.4660 to leave a question on our voicemail hotline.