A new food truck will be fueling the streets of Columbus this spring, thanks to a recent OWU grad and his partner.
Andrew Tuchow, ’13, and his business partner, Andy O’Brien, are opening their food truck starting April 1 of this year.
Tuchow graduated last May with a double major in neuroscience and psychology, while O’Brien graduated from the Ohio State University with a major in food business.
The two have been friends for a long time, and came up with their business plan over dinner last March.
This is when they realized they had a shared interest in making healthy eating more accessible.
At the time, O’Brien was working on a project for his school that was primarily for athletes. His idea was to use modern day nutrition to help athletes eating at his concept restaurant fuel their bodies better, and therefore get more out of their workouts.
Tuchow saw potential in expanding this idea outside the realm of just athletes. That started the initial planning towards the development of “Kinetic.”
Tuchow said he came up with the name for the food truck “after a solid amount of thought and effort.”
“We wanted the name of our place to capture everything that we wanted to put into it,” said Tuchow, “that it’s nutritious, modern, local, active and simple- we think the name can cover all that.”
Tuchow said the two decided to invest in a mobile food truck, because of the lower overhead costs to it as compared to a traditional restaurant.
“We also believe in the food truck movement and how connected you can feel to the trucks because they can be so personable,” said Tuchow.
Deciding to start a business together was “almost a no-brainer” said Tuchow. But the process has been long and arduous for the pair. Tuchow said he has much more respect for small business owners now that he has to deal with paperwork, legal filings, funding, and “thinking of every little component that goes into it.”
Kinetic will have some pre-set bowls, like a buffalo chicken or stir fry bowl, and a selection of smoothies that are aimed to have specific health benefits, such as antioxidant-rich or protein dense.
Some of the sides will include things like grilled pita and hummus, fruit skewers and roasted almonds. The options for sweets include a banana cookie (gluten free and vegan) and a walnut chocolate chip cookie.
Price range for some of the items like the bowls will depend on the protein like $7 for chicken, $8 for steak or tofu. Smoothies will vary as well- $4 for a 16oz and $6 for 32oz. The sides will range from $3 to $5, while the sweets are set at $2 a piece.
The two are working together on the menu; however, O’Brien has the final say in what makes it and what does not.
Tuchow said all the creations are made with natural ingredients, and will be locally sourced as much as possible. They also hope to source from food purveyors who source local or those who take a stand for sustainable practices.
Getting the Word Out
Tuchow said they hope to set up in Columbus and its surrounding suburbs.
“What this really means is that we want to share our food with anyone and everyone,” Tuchow said. “We plan on catering graduation parties, business lunches, sports games, festivals and so on.”
The pair also wants to find locations by OSU’s campus and in the Short North. Tuchow said they also hope to provide food for those running 5ks and marathons, setting up shop during special events.
As their truck gets closer and closer to opening, Tuchow said the pair is using social media to their full advantage to get the word out.
“We are creating small incentives and rewards for following or interacting with us via social media,” he said. “One such incentive is if you grab one of our stickers and place it on campus (OSU, OWU or anywhere else), then take a picture of it and tweet it at us, you get 20 percent off you purchase at the truck.”
Kinetic had its first food tasting on Saturday, February 22, at Tuchow’s home in Hilliard, Ohio.
“It went really, really well,” said Tuchow, “It was nice and informal and we had great people join us.”