Local food truck owners reflect on jobs, experiences on Notre Dame campus
Mia Moran | Monday, May 10, 2021
Throughout the school year, the Student Activities Offie (SAO) has been bringing food trucks to Notre Dame’s campus, allowing students to grab a bite to eat and enjoy spending time with others outdoors in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions.
With food trucks coming almost every weekend, some have become regulars, like the Rolling Stonebaker.
Andrea Georgion, owner of The Rolling Stonebaker’s pizza food truck, said that prior to this year, the truck mainly participated in recruiting events for the football team.
“This year, we have been fortunate enough to participate in many student and faculty events,” Georgion said. “It seems like slowly more and more are able to come here for many events going on.”
When asked what the Notre Dame community can gain from food trucks, Georgion commented on how the additional option offers a fun and unique option for students during the pandemic.
“I think that the truck brings a lot of charm,” Georgion said. “Also, just having the fresh pizza prepared in our fire oven — I think it adds some enjoyment to the campus, I hope.”
AstroFrost food truck owner Robert Lee Cowen emphasized how popular the food trucks have been on campus this year.
“Yes, Notre Dame has been quite popular with the ice cream truck. Sometimes, like tonight, it can be very busy,” Cowen said. “I’ve been going steady the whole time. I sold my limit of 500 pieces.”
Cowen further noted that despite dealing with long lines, the best part of working at a food truck is meeting the people.
“They want to have fun when they come get ice cream,” he said. “It’s always a lot of fun.”
Likewise, Alex Keim, owner of Keim’s Elephant Ear Express, commented on the pleasantness of the social interactions that come with the job.
“Everyone’s always saying please and thank you,” he said.
Keim recounted his experience with one patron in particular.
“I met a guy over here earlier. His name was Michael. He came back over and was like, ‘Man, these are amazing.’ That’s what I do it for,” Keim said. “It’s pretty awesome to hear that.”
Keim said business has been booming this year, especially because of Notre Dame events.
“Since Notre Dame contacted me [this year], we’ve been pretty busy with you guys,” Keim said, “This is our 10th one, which is awesome.”
When asked about the highs and lows of working at a food truck, Keim mentioned the smell from the food.
“You’ll get home sometimes, and you’ll be like, ‘That smells terrible,’” Keim said. “It soaks into your skin.”
Georgion from Rolling Stonebaker also reflected upon the advantages and disadvantages of the trade.
“I think it’s a fun job. You’re always going to different places — you get to see a lot of different people and different places,” Georgion said, “Occasionally, you go through some issues of being in an old truck, and that’s always an adventure too, on the road.”