Blog post #1 --"Did the heartbreak change me, maybe, but look at where I ended up" -Dua Lipa
Updated: Mar 2, 2022
It is the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 as I sit here writing my first blog post for our new business. The following is the story of who we are, where we came from and how we got here... buckle up and enjoy the ride.
This story starts with me, Lena, and Scott Hanson. We met at Tipsy Taco on May 2, 2018. I was hired to be the GM and Operations Manager at a small startup restaurant on the beach, 10 minutes north of Daytona Beach, FL. We ran this small restaurant together with the help from our "Tipsy Fam" which included about 25-35 staff members and a community full of amazing customers who would all quickly come to be our close friends and family. After 3.5 years, the universe decided we were destined for other things, and our time at Tipsy had come to an end.
After a devastating and untimely breakup with the business we ran as if it were our own, I spent the first weekend of my newfound unemployment in bed with the shades drawn and tears running down my heartbroken face. On day 3 Scott came into my room, opened the shades and said
"F THIS, GET UP, WE'RE GOING ON A ROAD TRIP".
So we sold a bunch of stuff, pulled together all of our "under the mattress" savings and bought a small RV and truck to pull it. We had no plans other than to clear my head and live life for the first time in a long time.
We started from our hometown, Ormond Beach, FL and went to Nashville, because it sounded like a good starting place. From there, we went to West Virginia's New River Gorge, then Gatlinburg and then to Linville/Banner Elk NC. We had planned to go to Delaware, Hilton Head, Savannah and then Back home, but when we got to the campground in NC, we loved it so much, we asked the owners if we could stay for the winter, and they said yes, so we literally never left the campground. We eventually put all the important stuff from the house in a storage unit, got rid of the house and started saving for our new life.
We got jobs at some local restaurants and spent the first winter at Beech Mountain, where Scott, a Florida boy born and raised, experienced his first ever snowy winter.
Running a food truck has been our dream since we worked together at Tipsy, so we already knew what to start focusing on. Our plan is to run our food truck at music and community festivals and possibly breweries, ski slopes, and boating docks. So really, just cool places with cool people. Our food will focus on two things which I will explain... the first being quality. Everything must be prepared fresh each morning. We learned at Tipsy that the key to delicious food is "fresh, never frozen". The second focus is what kind of food we will be serving. Our demographic is people who are walking around at festivals or going out on the boat or slopes so our food needs to be easy to eat while walking around. This is how we came up with the name "Gourmet Handhelds". Some of the items we are thinking of serving are, sausage biscuits and gravy in a parfait cup, delicious grilled cheeses, mini burritos, fat, yummy pretzels with a side of beer cheese and spicy mustard and other spins on comfort foods.
We will also be selling stickers, hats and shirts to save money for the startup of our food trailer and to start spreading the news of our new brand. Eventually we will be doing our "Community Famous" beach cleanups in Ormond Beach, as well as branching out to do mountain trail cleanups and seagrass restoration in crystal river.
So that's our story. We have faced a lot of positive and negative feedback from different people along the way. For me, I take the neg