Max Goldrich is finding out pretty quickly what it takes to run a food truck.
The night before opening Bun Daddy, a steamed bun food cart at the corner of Egan Drive and Whittier Street, on April 12 his water tank broke. That’s bad news for any business but even worse when the food you make requires steam.
“The first day was really rough,” Goldrich, 26, said. “It was really stressful and we ran into all sorts of problems.”
Goldrich learned from his mistakes though, turning out bun after bun between April 12-14 and April 21 and 27. Bun Daddy sold out everyday.
“I think the most we sold was 80 in one day,” Goldbelt said. “We could have sold more, but we ran out of buns.”
The steamed buns Goldrich cooks up use a basic dough recipe. The buns are folded like a taco and filled with savory ingredients. Currently, Bun Daddy,which held its grand opening this past weekend, has two options available. There is a pulled pork with spicy cabbage slaw and ground peanuts option and a chicken Bánh mì with fish sauce marinated chicken and produce from Panhandle Produce. He is also planning a vegetarian option because of demand and possibly a couple other items.
Goldrich, who works alongside his fiancée Laura Steele, does not have a professional culinary background, but has always loved cooking. He currently is working on his business administration degree at the University of Alaska Southeast. Goldrich and Steele did not originally plan to have a truck this year, but when Happy Camper owner Amanda Krafft decided not to reopen, they jumped at the chance to take over the green camper. Krafft, Goldrich said, also helped prepare him for the life of a food truck owner.
“Amanda gave me a huge amount of tips and pointed me in the right direction,” Goldrich said. “She was a huge help and I don’t know what I have would have done without her advice.”
Steele said she thinks the idea of steamed buns simply gives people in Juneau another quick and easy food option.
“Diversity is always great,” Steele said. “Steamed buns are not necessarily something you can get here in Juneau and they also make a great on-the-go lunch option.”
Steele added the response from the neighbors and the community early on has also been helpful.
“We have just felt really welcome and want people to feel welcomed when they come here too,” Steele said.
Goldrich said he has thought about opening a restaurant at some point, but will focus on Bun Daddy for the time being.
“I would like to open a restaurant eventually,” Goldrich said. “I want to see how this goes because I have never owned my own business or worked with food like this before.”