On October 4, the owners of the food cart The Gilded Swine were ready to go.
Unfortunately, it rained the entire morning and the cart had to cancel that day.
“Just kind of dealing with the ups and downs of that can be kind of fun sometimes,” co-owner and chef Brandon Fowler said.
Fowler, along with his wife and the business’s PR manager Becca, founded The Gilded Swine this summer. Recently, the two started selling brats and sausages at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln between the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center and Food Innovation Center.
Both Brandon and Becca have had years of experience in the food service industry, Becca with 12 years and Brandon with 10. Their careers started after attending The Art Institutes International Minnesota, studying culinary arts for five years.
“So, we’ve been able to kind of test what we love about [the food industry], and take those away and put them towards this,” Becca said.
Brandon managed a food cart in Minneapolis for a year or two and wanted to start with Becca.
“I love making sausage,” Brandon said. “It’s one of my favorite hobbies. And I was like, ‘You know, we could get a food truck together because it’s a little cheaper to do that than a full-on restaurant.’”
Becca spotted a food cart on Craigslist and told Brandon about the sale.
“So, we bought it and did some work to it to get it up and ready for the fall and next spring,” Brandon said.
The two are also currently fixing up a 1968 Airstream, and hope to turn it into a food truck by next year.
“Right now [with the cart], we’re hauling everything separately, and setup’s a little more cumbersome. But once we have a food truck, it’ll be amazing,” Becca said.
The Gilded Swine offers two permanent sausage meals, the Perfectly Normal and the Volkswurst. There are also two rotating meals as well, the current ones being the Capsaicin Sensation and the Big Tex.
There are also seasonal sides, with different salads offered at different times during the year.
“We did a corn and tomato salad earlier on in the fall while we could still get nice, beautiful, local tomatoes,” Brandon said.
But Brandon and Becca take most pride in the fact that the food is not only locally-sourced, but also handmade by Brandon.
“Everything is house-made, even down to the ketchup, the mustard,” Becca said.
Brandon said this method shows a certain level of care to what they create.
“I don’t want to have just the same product that everyone else has,” Brandon said. “I think it allows people to go out and enjoy different things, as well as it gives us different flexibilities that you couldn’t ordinarily have if we only bought store-made products.”
The Gilded Swine also does lunches and is planning on offering other services, such as supplying food for events, selling on gameday or catering.
Both Becca and Brandon expressed interest on taking their food cart, and soon, food truck, to sell on City Campus.
“We would love to [sell on City Campus],” Brandon said. “We got kind of a late start this year, because we were really planning on just going out next year.”
Since the Gilded Swine is the pair’s first food business, Brandon said thinking about the cart is a change from just working.
“I’ve always wanted people to enjoy my food and everything like that, but here, it’s just like, ‘Wow, I’m really putting myself out on the line here.’”
Becca said the process of starting and running The Gilded Swine has been different from working in a traditional restaurant.
“With relation to a cart or a food truck, you can have things change on a whim, or you can have something break and go wrong,” she said. “So it’s been fun learning to just be chill and roll with whatever is going on.”
By: Collin Spilinek