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New food truck on Route 5 can bring the spuds to you

Look inside the orange food truck parked alongside North Colony Road on Route 5 in Wallingford and it’s likely you’ll see Craig McCarthy tending to the fryer and on the grill along with his wife, Krista, prepping the rest of the meal.

“He cooks and I prep and stay in the window,” Krista McCarthy said. “He has his own techniques. We like to separate our sides.”

The North Haven couple own The Spud Stud, a food truck parked along Route 5 in the Metro Tools’ parking lot, 701 N. Colony Road. It offers a variety of creations featuring potatoes and even burgers. They purchased the truck from a friend in March. Since then, they spend a bulk of their time split between the Stamford Beer Garden and Wallingford.

“Wallingford is very nice and accommodating,” Craig McCarthy said. “They actually want food trucks here. The town is very welcoming.”

Before purchasing the food truck, they worked in the bail bonds industry and owned a pawn shop. Craig McCarthy even owned two restaurants in Milford and Stratford.

They decided to give up their careers to enter the food truck industry after researching the business and discovering how big it is in other states. Now the Mc-Carthys want to make it as popular in Connecticut.

“It’s a great business,” Craig Mc-Carthy said. “This was supposed to be our retirement, but it’s now a full-time gig ... If people don’t want to get out of their office or into their car on a rainy day, we can come to them. People love eating this kind of food.”

While food trucks like The Spud Stud can offer a different menu of food than a typical fast food restaurant, Doreen DeSarro, the business recruiter at the town’s Economic Development department, said it’s a “doubleedged sword” because it may not support local businesses.

“In some respects, they do add to the critical mass. If you’re driving down the street and don’t feel like a hamburger, you can stop and get a hotdog at the food truck ... They do provide to the critical mass where you get lots and lots of options,” she said. “On the other hand, if you buy a hot dog from a food truck, you’re not buying chicken at Popeyes. It’s a doubleedged sword.” Because it’s their first year in business, the two try to market The Spud Stud by attending food truck fairs and festivals around the state, Krista McCarthy said. While business has been good, it hasn’t come without some challenges and obstacles, such as dealing with individuals who have a preconceived notion that food trucks and its food are dirty.

“People have this early thought that food trucks are these nasty concepts from New York years ago,” Craig McCarthy said. “Now, you have better restaurants along the street in New York.”

While the two work together in the food truck, the business also allows them to team up for creative purposes. As ideas for different dishes come to them, they experiment and do taste tests, Krista McCarthy said. One creation consists of meat loaf shaped into a cupcake, with mashed potatoes spread over the top to resemble frosting.

As full-time food truck operators, both Craig and Krista McCarthy said they have no regrets about leaving their former jobs and pursuing something new.

evo@record-journal.com (203) 317-2235 Twitter: @EricVoRJ



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