The People I Find: Food Truck

This week’s post is on Karen Zimbelman and her Food Truck! I met Karen while I was preparing to be a missionary for the LDS church at the Mission Training Center in Provo, Utah. She always had the biggest and brightest smile. She would come and visit us girls in our dorm and make us feel like we were number one. I have yet to try her calzones because I am so far away, but the pictures alone look heavenly. Many of my readers won’t be able to try these calzones any time soon, but her story is worth the read! My husband and I are always looking for Food Trucks because for some reason they have the best food and the best people. Here is the story of a determined woman, a woman who made her dreams come true and opened Mama Z’s Food Truck.

Food Truck 3My 82 year old mother in law called me last April. She hesitated a moment and then started the conversation: “I just got off the phone with Karen (my sister in law) and I told her you were starting a food truck. She said there was no way that could be true and I must of have dreamed it. I told her I was pretty certain but she insisted that it must have been a dream. So don’t laugh at me but I just wanted to see if I really did dream it… are you starting a food truck?”
I assured her that it was not a dream; we laughed, chatted a few more minutes and hung up. I seem to get that a lot these days. What’s a 50 year old wife, mother and grandmother doing driving a 2000 Cummings Diesel step van around Utah Valley? Selling calzones of course! I had always thought owning a food truck would be fun but only if you had something unique and tasty to sell, but at the time I had no ideas.
Fall 2013. After 32 wonderful years as a full time mother, my youngest daughter moved out to attend BYU and I found myself largely unemployed. My grandchildren were split between California and South Carolina with me somewhere in the middle. I was working part time in my home teaching Kindermusik to preschoolers, which I loved but I was often bored. I seem to have a need to have a project that I am passionately involved in but at this point I had redone the front and back yard and remodeled almost every part of our house. I was running out of projects. My husband teaches at BYU and while there was not a real NEED for me to make a lot of money I felt like I wanted to contribute more towards our retirement and future mission fund.
The week before Christmas 2013 as my husband and I were driving home from our married daughters house in the Sacramento area we were talking about our goals. It seemed that with all the taxes and other expenses of teaching Kindermusik I was only making about $6.00 an hour. Maybe I needed to find something else to do. It has always been an option to go back to school and get a masters degree and work as a family therapist but I wasn’t really excited about it. I didn’t know what to do.
Food Truck 1
A week later we were headed to Arizona to visit family there and thaw out a little bit. For 10 years we had brought our children with us but this year it was just the two of us. In years past my mother in law (and her husband) would come up from Green Valley, south of Tucson, for a day and we would meet at Marie Calendars for a few hours and then go to a nearby park. When she came up this time we decided to go to Marie Calendars for old times sake – only when we arrived, it had been bulldozed. Once we got over the shock we pulled out our phones and looked on Yelp! My husband found a place nearby that served Cornish Pasties and was very highly rated. Mark and I didn’t know what those were but my mother in law did and she said they were great so we ventured out. It was 5:30 on a Thursday night and the place was crowded. We each ordered a different kind of pasty. I choose marinated Portobello mushroom, Mark got a salmon and his mom got a fancy cheeseburger one. We all tried each others and they were awesome, this was it! I didn’t know much about pasties BUT I do know how to make calzones… and everyone loves calzones! After months of perfecting recipes and getting feedback from neighbors and friends Mama Z’s began to take shape. I have to admit that it took me a day or two to get the courage to drive the truck for the first time but now I’m pretty good at it. I often find myself  smiling as I drive down the road – I can’t believe it either.
food truck 4 Here is this week’s schedule!
THURSDAY (9/18/2014): We will be at the Provo Food Truck Round-Up from 4:00-9:00 pm located at The Start Up Building (560 S 100 W Provo)
FRIDAY (9/19/2014): Canyon Crest Carnival (4664 N Canyon Rd. Provo)! If your kids go to Canyon Crest, be sure to try us out while you are at the carnival supporting your school! We will be there from 5:00-7:30pm.

If you haven’t yet go and LIKE the Mama Z’s Food Truck Facebook Page

And don’t forget to follow this blog and like The People I Find Facebook Page

2 thoughts on “The People I Find: Food Truck

Add yours

  1. Wow so cool. Now if only I lived closer so I get try some of this goodness! P.S. I love your posts about the people you meet. People are fascinating and everyone has a story. You’re giving so many people the chance to share theirs!


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