Friday, October 12, 2018

Oct. 3, 2018
Crock Spot – A journey to opening the restaurant.

               Hello fellow Crock Stars.  You’ll notice a number of changes coming up to our website and our company.  It’s been an incredible journey.  Let me give you a brief history of my experience with Crock Spot.
               Rewind to 8 years ago.  I met Steve and Mandy (the owners) in my condo complex in the Denver Tech Center.  I had just returned from a military deployment and was attending Law School at the University of Denver.  Steve and Mandy welcomed me when I moved in and we all quickly became friends.  After I had become settled they both invited me over.  They had this great idea for a new restaurant. 
               They would focus their cuisine around gourmet comfort food.  They would specialize in slow cooked food from a crock pot, items that would take a long time to make.  Customers would be served food that would have taken them hours to cook at home, with sauces that I can only describe as inspired.  We had a tasting in their tech center condo.  I was hooked.  The food was incredible.
               Steve and Mandy decided to take a risk, they put everything they had into founding a food truck, and Crock Spot was born.  I continued to discuss the business with them as I completed law school and finished my military obligation.  Eventually I returned to Colorado to find Crock Spot as a successful food truck enterprise.  They had created some of the best food I’ve ever had, truly inspirational.
               Fast forward to today, Crock Spot is currently expanding operations and I’m proud to be working with them.  I’ve found myself learning all new cooking skills as I work in the kitchen along side of Steve.  I’ve learned about how rewarding (and complicated) wedding catering can be as I’ve worked along side of Mandy.  (Brides if you need someone who will understand your wedding, reach out to this woman, she gets it.)  I’ve gotten to meet a ton of awesome customers and had the privilege of working alongside some of the most talented individuals as we served great meals (Pete, Miguel, Brian, Geoff).  Everyone has a passion for their job, and it creates a fun working atmosphere.  I’m looking forward to our expansion as we get to bring on more talent soon.

   Crock Spot isn’t just a job, it’s a culture.  Steve and Mandy have both emphasized the value we place on every customer, every employee, every meal served.  As we continue our expansion throughout Colorado, and from Food Trucks to standing restaurants, we look forward to your patronage.  Please continue to check out the website and Face Book page for continued updates and we look forward to serving you.

Fun Fact:
An interesting fact regarding Crock Spot is that everyone working here is well traveled throughout the world.  If you’re at the truck, don’t hesitate to ask any of us about our favorite country, each one will give you a different answer.  The experience has been both revealing and exceptional.

Steve B (the other Steve)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Our Core Value of Customer Service

Serving More Than Just Food…

Have you ever had a dining experience where at the end of it, you thought “My time would have been better spent at home eating cheerios?” Us too. In fact, it just happened. My wife Mandy and I were downtown for a fun date night and chose to dine at a posh restaurant in one of the city’s trendier areas. We ended up having a terrible experience, largely impart to the customer service we received from the wait staff. There was such a negativity to the whole thing that we ended our meal early, paid our bill and quickly left.

However, this whole experience got us thinking and reminded us of why one of Crock Spot’s core values is customer service. It’s no secret that the Denver food scene is not lacking in choices. Fantastic restaurants with impeccable quality of food are available in almost any area of the city, and that’s not to even mention the gastronomic treats that come in our city’s mighty fleet of differing food trucks. While we are confident in the content and quality of our food, we also strive to provide more than a meal in a bowl. Crock Spot delivers our guests with an experience; an exchange that should be positive from the first ‘hello’ down to the last bite.
With stiff competition in the Denver culinary scene, going the extra mile to provide top notch customer service is what makes the difference.

Customer service is such an important aspect and can make or break any situation. We know that there are lots of options out there and other places for you to spend your money. That’s why we take it so seriously when our customers choose to dine with us. The Crock Spot offers something to remember: a delicious bowl of food, prepared lovingly and made to order just the way you want it, served with a smile.

Have you had a positive interaction with our Crock Spot staff? We’d love to hear about it! Please feel free to comment on our blog, or post to our Facebook telling us what you loved! Also, remember the Crock Spot for the next time you need an event catered. We will roll right up to your front door with our truck Simmer, or do an indoor event setup. Contact us here.

We hope the food sticks with you and the customer service brings you back!

Until next time – The Crock Spot Team 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

From the Groom's Perspective

Let’s face it guys, it’s called matrimony not MAN-trimony.  What that means to me is that the wedding day is mainly for the bride.  She gets to wear the super expensive dress, she gets to have everyone wait on her and basically just be the beautiful queen she wants to be.  Leading up to this, I never really heard much about what grooms had to say about the wedding day. So I thought I would share my experience since we just got married less than a month ago.

If you can afford it, get a wedding planner!!!  We had a destination wedding in Tulum Mexico and we figured it would be best to hire someone who knows the area and can make things happen fast in a foreign country.  At very least check into it. Our planner wasn’t a set fee. She took a percentage of the entire expense of the wedding.  Money well spent!!  We hired Kristee owner of Fresa Weddings and she was unbelievable.  She took control and let me in on what I needed to do to prepare for the ceremony. She advised me to work on my vows and that I would have to read them out loud and that was about it.  Of course my wife worked closely with her for 6 months before the wedding, but I didn’t have to.  They were the ones who bounced ideas off each other, discussed colors, flowers, knick knacky type things that I really didn’t have much of an opinion on anyway.  I was really only concerned about having good food (they actually had a custom painted taco cart for us plus other stations) and plenty to drink.  The wedding was amazing! All the details the planner brought to the party, would never have even been a spark in my mind.  I showed up with my groomsmen and best man, had a couple beers before the ceremony and then game on.

As far as the entire experience goes, I do have some pointers that I lived into and some I figured out and so I thought I would share them. 

1)    Don’t over drink the night before.  For me, I didn’t drink anything because I know myself.  I like being around people and tipping them back.  I was very thankful for this choice.  I woke up refreshed and ready to go.  Also, don’t think you should drink heavily before the ceremony either.  I’ve heard horror stories and who really wants that memory.

2)    Make sure you practice your vows.  Read them outloud, get the words comfortable in your mouth.  Emotion will be a factor so the more times you read and hone them the better.

3)    Eat!!  I wish I had eaten more, I paid a lot for these different stations of really nice food and though I went through once, I wish I had filled my plate at least one more time.  I was just so excited and tequila wanted to be in my hand. 

4)    Stay in the moment but take moments to soak it all in.  6 hours went by so quickly and there are big chunks that I just can’t seem to remember (not because of consumption).  I wish I had slowed down, breathed and let the memories burn themselves into my brain.

5)    Be prepared for the gravity of what you just did with your wife to settle in.  It wasn’t until two days later that we both broke down, held each other and were so thankful for what we had created.  It was awesome but it did come a tad unexpectedly.  Look forward to it though, it was one of the highlights of our 12 day trip.

6)    Don’t’ be cheap, hopefully you are only going to do this once so make it memorable.  Tip heavily and be appreciative, people will take good care of you if you take care of them.

My wedding was more than I had expected.  It was the best day of my life and I am glad there were a lot of photos taken!  I think the most important point to really take in to consideration is to remember what it’s all about.  Two people declaring they choose each other out loud.  The rest are details you can take or leave…

Monday, April 7, 2014

Advice on starting a food truck

Over the past year we have been able to really dial in our business, receive nice accolades and press coverage all while really beginning to let Crock Spot run with much less struggle.  Anyone who is looking to start a food truck business does their due diligence by reaching out to the community they want to work in and starts asking questions.  I have had many conversations from local people here in Denver to concepts in Detroit and Florida all looking for advice and seemingly that nudge to sack up and start. 

I also recently read an article and why you shouldn’t start a food truck business.  It listed everything from tough regulations to the unpredictability and even timeliness of your concept.  All of this is true, a touch negative, but without a doubt all valid points to consider before you start.

On the whole, there is no recipe for success in this industry, just like any other industry.  I like to think that I have at least developed an opinion based on what I have seen work or fail.  I have seen entrepreneurs have the shiniest most expensive truck on the scene close shop their first year.  I have seen artisan popsicles go from one bike cart to three to a brick and mortar in less than a year.  I have seen partnerships collapse, I have seen collaborations that blossom.  To sum it all up, if you want to start a business, think:  Do I have what it takes to shoulder through the hard times?  Rest assured, there will be hard times. 

I believe that bracing for the emotional aspect of business ownership is the most important aspect of starting.  Being able to stay positive even when your truck is with the mechanic and you had to miss out on a $2000 gig.  Being able to say, “we’ll get them next time” when you go home with $80 after an event coordinator told you it would be the event of the year.  Like any business, if you can make it through two years of hand to mouth, your business will start to grow with much less effort.  Like any business, do not quit your job if you have any doubt; that just means you’re not ready.  Once you can make friends with that doubt and really feel this is what you are supposed to do, make the leap and enjoy the ride!

I love owning my own business with my soon to be wife.  I love creating good healthy food options for people.  I love working hard and letting the business work for me.  I love being able to talk about being an entrepreneur.   I love my life but it wasn’t just handed to me because of a trend.  We worked our asses off for it!

Top 7 Reasons to Hire a Food Truck

As food truck owners we have seen a dramatic rise in being booked out to cater private events.  The parties range from birthdays, anniversaries, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, graduations, neighborhood block parties, themed get-togethers and holiday.  Having been able to put together three years of catering experience with a food truck we thought we would create the top 7 reasons to hire a food truck for your next private event:
  1. Coolness – Gourmet food trucks are really trendy.  Everyone has their favorite and everyone likes to discuss why it’s their favorite.  Having a truck pull up in your drive way to serve your guests will be the talk of the neighborhood for seasons to come.
  2. Expense – Food trucks are going to be less expensive that traditional caterers.  You may not have the broad range of food options to choose from but food truck owners are typically chefs and can pull off just about anything you have your heart set on.  Plus you won’t have all the rentals and strange fees on your invoice.
  3. Simplicity – Having a food truck is less invasive and creates very little mess.  We roll in, offer delicious food in typically bio degradable plates and bowls and roll out.  No dishes, no chaffers, no messy kitchen.
  4. Creative food – Most trucks have a niche concept they like to stick too.  What ever the flavor you are looking for, it probably won’t be hard to find a truck that specializes in that cuisine or will work with you to create it.
  5. Speed – Being able to deliver food to our customers is really important.  A truck that has been around the block a few times can serve everyone at your party within an hour…based on head count of course.  Crock Spot prides itself on being able to serve 100 per hour at capacity.
  6. FUN!! – From adults to kids, everyone gets a kick out of eating from a gourmet food truck.  In all the events we have done, catering private events are our favorite.  Everyone is excited, grateful and appreciative for the experience.  We have clients that continue to use us every years because of the level of service and ease that has been provided them.
  7. Attraction – People will attend a party because of food truck catering it.  We have loyal customers that will find us in public and remind us of the job we did two years ago… the neighbors still talk about it.  It’s unique to hire us and people love it!

Of course there are other intangibles of why having a food truck cater your next party is worth it but these are a few that we know of for sure. Check out Crock Spot to cater your next event in Denver!