The Black Market Food Truck
There’s a new food truck coming to town and it’s dubbed The Black Market Food Truck. The truck looks to bring fresh, fast, gourmet deli style sandwiches, soups, sides and more to Buffalo, and its owners, Michael Dimmer and Christian Willmott, are turning to the Kickstarter community for help. There are just two weeks to go in their campaign. The pair currently own The Nines Catering Company, a private events catering company, which they founded in 2010. The Nines has catered events ranging from graduations and birthday parties to showers and weddings. While you may not know the name, I have heard consistently great reviews of their food from folks who have worked with them, and it turns out these two have worked at many of Buffalo’s well-known restaurants.
I caught up with Christian recently and asked him about where they’ve been and where they’re going…
Buffalo Foodie: How long have you been working in catering and cooking?
Christian Willmott: Mike and I have been in the restaurant business since high school. Back then it was mostly pizza shops and concession stands though. I would say that the most influential place we worked at was a little restaurant on Elmwood called Astoria. Mike and I both worked there in college, and that is where we both developed a passion for the business. At this point, I think we are both just shy of 10 years in the business.
BF: Why did you decide to open The Nines Catering Company?
CW: During our time at Astoria, Mike and I had several conversations about opening up a restaurant at some point in the future. To be honest, we still have these conversations, but we quickly realized that a brick and mortar restaurant was out of the question due to the sheer cost of it. We started The Nines Catering Company just about two years ago as a way to get our food to people without the overhead. We were too eager to continue working only for other people, but we lacked the means to become completely independent. Over the last couple of years we have both kept full-time jobs, and catered as much as possible. Looking back, I know that we made the right decision in doing that. It gave us a chance to get our feet wet and take on what we could handle.
BF: What gave you inspiration to start a food truck? Why are you attracted to a food truck versus a brick and mortar restaurant?
CW: The inspiration to start a food truck came from very much the same place as the inspiration to start The Nines. I think Mike and I both see our careers in this business as a steady progression. A food truck is the perfect next step for us. We want our food and passion to reach as many people as possible, and as we have all seen in recent years, food trucks are a great way to achieve that goal. We still have a brick and mortar in our sights, but for now our focus is the food truck.
BF: What type of menu items will you offer? Why?
CW: Our menu will be very diverse. We love to cook with ingredients and techniques from all over the world. The Black Market Food Truck will be Buffalo’s first mobile gourmet deli. We discuss this a lot in the Kickstarter, but our customers can expect to find something new on our menu almost every time they eat at The Black Market Food Truck. A Vietnamese Banh Mi is a definite on our menu. We will be rotating a huge selection of other sandwiches and sides as well. In addition, we are going to be doing all of our own rolls and bread daily to create a completely unique experience.
BF: What would you most like your potential backers to know about your new truck?
CW: I think that our Kickstarter video does a great job of explaining to potential backers exactly why we need their financial support. If there is one thing that I would like them to know that can’t be found in the video it is that The Black Market Food Truck is as much for them as it is for us. Our most memorable experiences in this industry have come from people that share our excitement for food. I want to encourage potential backers to get excited about this and participate. Send us your feedback and opinions. Help us make The Black Market Food Truck a Buffalo staple!
Their Kickstarter video and page offer detailed explanations of what they will use their dollars raised for — primarily to fix wear and tear to the truck and get it operational for cooking and vending food.
They are just over $600 away from meeting their $5,000 Kickstarter goal. Check out their page and become a backer by clicking here.
Best of luck to The Black Market Food Truck! I look forward to seeing your new wheels on the street and sampling your food soon.