From the archives

The reason for our food trip to Japan

9 March, 2018: Back in August 2016 Vincenzo told me he could shape up a labor budget that was out of whack much more quickly than we had expected. I told him that if he could do it in 2 weeks I’d take him to a Japanese Whiskey Distillery. He delivered. And it took me a bit of time to… Read More

From the archives

Public transit in Japan

8 March, 2018: I will pay, out of my own pocket, to send Boston MBTA leadership to Japan to do a “riding tour” if they can come back and make real changes to our transit system here in Boston. ‘Nuff said. Read More

From the archives

Clem loves mochi

7 March, 2018: I’m not sure this one can make it to Clover. Because I’m not sure many Boston customers would love it. But Clementine (yes, the Clementine in the photo of me buying our first truck) LOVES mochi. I’m right there with her. It’s delicious. Here she is eating some that was just grilled over a bbq and smothered… Read More

From the archives

Next stage in branding

1 October, 2008: For those of you who have been following the logo/ visual identity journey, you know we started with “Clover Food Lab.” And while there’s a part of me that likes that a lot, and I’m not sure I agree with people that it wouldn’t work as a name, I realize now it’s a better naming approach for… Read More

From the archives

Blue Bottle Tokyo

7 March, 2018: I have a video of Blue Bottle pour over circa 2003 at the Ferry Building in SF. It’s awesome, and raw. Huge line. Sternos and cheap kettles. 40g coffee per 8oz cup (an enormous dosing). A spoon stirring the grounds. Splashes and spills. And I’ve watched Blue Bottle evolve and expand. I’d heard that Tokyo was a… Read More

From the archives

Pickles in Japan

6 March, 2018: Japanese pickling is so different from what I’m used to in the USA. We visited Kyoto where pickles are one of the most important regional items. Pickles were everywhere. In the US almost 100% of pickles we consume are made from vinegar brine. If you’ve ever had a true “sour” or “half-sour” pickle, that’s salt brine, as… Read More

From the archives

Japanese tea

6 March, 2018: Ever since I first learned of Japanese tea ceremony I’ve wanted to experience one. Clementine and I found a tea house in the middle of a garden in Tokyo and it was AWESOME! There are a bunch of details to the etiquette that they patiently taught us. The simplified version is (a) eat the sweet first and… Read More

From the archives

Ice in cups

2 March, 2018: If you’ve been reading the blog lately or hanging out with me you know I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about packaging recently. Packaging is easily the most hairy operational issue we face with the Clover App rollout. And while it pales in comparison to the positive impact we have by excluding meat from our… Read More

From the archives

Running the ship alone (sort of)

4 December, 2008: If you came by the truck today you might have seen my little warning. We’re in a transitional week. Starting next week we have some full time folks coming on. In the meantime I found myself today alone on the truck. So I reduced the menu to 2 sandwiches instead of 4. And Tom (my father in… Read More

From the archives

Japanese Italian?

1 March, 2018: Vincenzo (leads food production at Clover) and Greg (our COO) both have Italian heritage. So what did they think of Italian Japanese food? To be fair we only tried it once. But capturing this expression on film wasn’t that hard because they held this pose for a while. The site horrifying them: a giant wheel of parm… Read More

From the archives

Savory breakfast at Clover?

28 February, 2018: I first started thinking seriously about savory breakfast when I saw my father-in-law make oatmeal with soup stock. I’ve been wondering for years now whether there is a place for savory on Clover’s breakfast menu. Enzo says emphatic YES. First morning in Japan. And we’re having a traditional Japanese breakfast. I want to make this when I… Read More

From the archives

Eating Japan

27 February, 2018: We try to get a food trip in once a year or so. Past trips have included Calabria and Sicily for the Panelle and other recipes, Texas BBQ sauce (we ate at Franklins when we were both still trucks), New Orleans for chicory coffee, Great Lakes for frozen custard. This year we’re Japan bound. I’ll be updating… Read More

From the archives

Popovers in Buffalo, NY

14 February, 2018: This past weekend we drove to Michigan to visit my family. It was a grueling trip. Heavy snow for 80% of the drive, 35 mph on highway, low visibility, no plows out. The 12 hour trip took 16 hours. We were in Michigan for less than 24 hours then returned through another storm. But it was all… Read More

From the archives

Vinyl lettering

29 September, 2008: Josh has been playing with lettering options. Working from the lettering on the side of the truck, and seeing whether something like that would work for the logo for the truck. I like above. Not sure it’s right for the truck. I like that it reflects what other trucks typically do, that it relates to my early… Read More

From the archives

Future of packaging

13 February, 2018: We’re on the eve of our first ever public release of the Clover App. I started dreaming about this back in 2009 when we built what might have been the world’s first cloud-based POS. Back then we had 1 food truck. Over the past 18 months or so we have been beta testing an app. It’s been… Read More