CheddaTruck's Star Shines, Then Explodes on Debut Night; Owner Says He's Not Coming Back Without Changes

Categories: Hahnefeld

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See also: New Grilled Cheese Food Truck, CheddaTruck, Rolls Into Phoenix This Saturday

On Saturday, June 30, Cheddar Truck owner Nick Watts' five-year dream of owning a food truck was about to become a reality. After months of preparation and scraping up $1,000, his mobile kitchen, dedicated to cheesy cuisine in the form of signature and build-your-own sandwiches (plus a clever little creation called Chedda Tots), made its debut from 5 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 30, at Artistic Tattoo in Central Phoenix.

It was a disastrous success.

"My goal was to sell five sandwiches," Watts tells me. "But I ended up selling 172 in three hours. People were waiting in line for an hour to get a grilled cheese sandwich. I wouldn't wait an hour in line for a grilled cheese sandwich."

The response stunned the 33-year-old Watts, who'd never imagined his grilled cheese on wheels concept would be so popular. Plus, there was the stress of renting a truck whose refrigeration unit went out three times in 72 hours and having to hear angry customers yell at his wife, who was trying to help her husband on his debut night.

"I just want to say thank you to all that came out to welcome us. I apologize for everyone having to wait so long." Watts tweeted his followers after that evening. "First night on the truck." Then, as of Monday, "We are not going back out. Sorry."

Is this the first and the last the Valley will hear of the grilled cheese sandwich food truck?

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Chedda Tots
Originally from New Hampshire, Watts spent four years working for restaurants in Colorado, where he developed a passion for cooking. When he came to the Valley in 2007, Watts spent time working in restaurants like BLT Steak, and with notable chefs like Payton Curry (then at Digestif), Justin Beckett of Beckett's Table, and Jeff Yankellow of the now-defunct Simply Bread.

"I learned so much from all of them," Watts tells me. "Payton taught me about using local ingredients, Jeff showed me the difference between bread and great bread, and I wanted to model my business after the way Justin did his. I even named some of my cheese sandwiches after these guys."

Wanting flawlessness with his food, Watts was unhappy with CheddaTrucks' debut, and says although the response was good, he needs to re-group before deciding to go back out again.

"I want CheddaTruck to be perfect. People deserve that," Watts tells me. "I need to get another truck, work on the menu, and find someone to share this dream with me."

Watts says he'll most likely come back, but not for a few months. When he does, he says he'd like to return to his debut location, Artistic Tattoo. There, he tells me, he can introduce another idea he's been thinking about.

"I'd like to show cheesy '80s movies on a wall there," Watts says. "People can get a cheesy sandwich, something to drink, and then watch Spaceballs. I think they'd like that."

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The Chedda Truck

, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant


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9 comments
RON4
RON4

Tried it.Not bad but there is a wait. The were guys cooking with no cool air in truck.They need two stoves and they need to be very hot and quick.I knew it wasn't going to work out since the women who was taknig the orders there kept saying hurry up and they kept falling behind on the orders.

Amy Oyler
Amy Oyler

Oh Man,, cheesy 80's movies and food? Awesome! I hope they come back because that would be great!

Jwphx
Jwphx

Or you could be more realistic and call it a fledgling, boot strapped business that met too much success on it debut night. Chill.

David Saint
David Saint

lol well if people waited an hour for it, pretty much gives you the answer...i doubt people would wait that long for crap food. 

Jay
Jay

Was anyone actually there to report on the quality of the food offered?  Seems like a key piece of information to include in this article...

Concerned Food Fan
Concerned Food Fan

Or an ill conceived, poorly planned debut night from someone who decided that, based on the lessons learned that night, the best decision would be to quit.

Concerned Food Fan
Concerned Food Fan

How would they know if the food was good or not?  Nobody had ever had it before..

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