August 2, 2016

That electricity in the air

I was hoping this wouldn’t happen, but also knew that it was only a matter of time. The original Clover Food Truck, the CloverMIT truck is closing. Customers will have to go 100 feet down the street to CloverKND for their fix starting this coming Monday.

That picture above is from June 2009. That was the first season we operated the food truck as anything other than a menu testing vehicle. That’s me leaning out. I ran the MIT truck from fall 2008 through spring 2010. If you look closely you can see the burn marks on my arms from the oven. And Leah is there taking orders (white shirt to the left), she was amazing to work with. And Hat is behind me on the truck. I still get to check in with Hat from time to time. Behind me almost out of frame is Jerry, who now runs a Panera downtown. I miss those guys.

This is where the Clover menu was first developed back in October 2008. It’s the place we first met some of our most loyal customers. And it’s the place many of our leaders cut their teeth. Including Ayr (Founder and CEO, MIT truck manger from 10/08 – 6/10), Chris (VP of Food, MIT truck manager 5/10 – 11/10), Vincenzo (Director of Food, MIT truck manager 6/11-10/11), Sara (Director of Training, MIT truck manager 6/13-10/13), Lucia (Director of Communications, MIT Truck Team Leader 10/09 – 11/10), Manlio (Sr. Truck Manager, MIT Truck Manager 5/14-10/15).

I miss those days. I loved everything about running the truck.

But as I reflect I also feel so lucky. Truth is we’re doing every single thing better now. We know so much now that we didn’t then. Ingredients are better, recipes are better, training is better, leadership is better, facilities are better, systems are better, and on and on. And I feel so lucky because that electricity that was in the air back then, the spark you can see in this picture, it’s still there. I feel it right now at CloverLMA where I’m writing this. It’s happening. And it’s still so exhilarating.

MIT has amazing plans for the Kendall Square area, and they are about to break ground. Thankfully we have our restaurant CloverKND at 5 Cambridge Center, about 100 feet from the original truck at 20 Carleton St. We’re working with MIT to find another spot on campus where we can park.

But the MIT truck, which was the place everything started, will serve it’s last sandwich on Friday, 1/5/16.

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