Today is the first of a two part series featuring the Steve and Jennifer, the husband and wife team of Simmer Milwaukee based out of beautiful Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In under five years, the couple have grown from a single food truck to having two restaurant locations, a thriving catering business, and their own brand of soups being sold at local grocery store chains. They’ve also locked down a location at Summerfest, The World’s Largest Music Festival.
Although Simmer Milwaukee is a one of the elder statesmen in the local food truck scene today, they’ve only just begun their entrepreneurial journey three years ago. Both had successful careers in publishing and other careers previously, but both had always been interested in cooking. Initially, the concept for Simmer Milwaukee was driven out of a passion for cooking high-quality soups and the couple has not veered far from their original food concept. In episode 80 of the Food Truck Empire podcast, you’ll learn a little more about what it’s like to start not just a successful food truck, but food brand. Don’t forget to come back in two weeks when we publish part two of the interview that focuses more on the business operations of Simmer Milwaukee.
Quotes From The Show
We weren’t thinking about it (the food truck) evolving into a restaurant. It just sort of happened organically. – Steve on starting their business.
There’s a lot of trucks that we started with that aren’t around anymore. – Steve on the changes in the Milwaukee food truck market.
A lot of people who have food trucks do it as a part-time job. For us it’s always been a full-time job and we’re committed to quality food, quality ingredients, and being out there giving really good customer service. – Jennifer on some of the factors Simmer Milwaukee has been successful longterm.
What You’ll Learn
- How the soup concept for Simmer Milwaukee came to be.
- How Steve and Jennifer have leveraged past careers in publishing to gain press for their food truck.
- The reasons Steve and Jennifer decided to start a food truck instead of a cafe
- Why the flexibility of location, cool factor, and lower initial cost led the couple to start a mobile business.
- What the food truck landscape was like 3 years ago when they got started.
- When Simmer Milwaukee started to think about adding a restaurant location
- The specific conversations that occurred between Steve and Jennifer before starting a restaurant.
- The factors that have led to Simmer Milwaukee being a success… largely hard work, customer service, and great food!
- Why Steve’s background helping to start other restaurants gave him a very realistic understanding of labor costs, food costs, and time commitment needed to operate a food service business.
- Why starting a food truck might not be a great hobby or retirement business.
- The long-term goals of Simmer Milwaukee
- How jumping at multiple opportunities has help Simmer Milwaukee grow.
- How combining multiple streams of revenue has helped Simmer Milwaukee grow into a portfolio of food business.
- The biggest piece of advice for starting a food truck in Milwaukee.
Mentioned in The Podcast –
Simmer Milwaukee – Explore the savory soups and tempting panini’s made by Simmer Milwaukee. This husband and wife owned business started as a food truck started under 5-years ago and has quickly grown to two restaurant locations and extensive catering options. Check them out if you live within 100 miles of Milwaukee!
ShopKeep – POS system used by today’s guest Simmer Milwaukee. Sign up for $200 in bonuses and learn more about this point-of-sale solution.