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Piaggio On Wheels

Coming from an Argentinean and Brazilian background, Northwood junior Andreas Piaggio grew up in a family that was always heavily influenced by food. So much, in fact, that it became his parents life and much later part of his life too. Piaggio sat down with The Howler to discuss his family’s food truck, Piaggio On Wheels, and how it came to be.

Ansh Talim and Armin Abaye: What influenced your parents to get into the food truck industry?

Andreas Piaggio: After the recession hit in 2008, my parents had to shut down their Argentinian restaurant in Brea and weren’t left with any other options. Miraculously, my dad stumbled upon a food truck one night right before the official closing of the restaurant and decided that he wanted to open one of his own.

AT and AA: Are there any major responsibilities that come with running a food truck?

AP: You have to come in early every morning, go to a restaurant store and buy an unimaginable amount of food and other products, go back to your commissary where the trucks stay when they’re not out operating and prep for the upcoming shift and then go out and sell.

AT and AA: Did you help out with these major responsibilities in any way?

AP: I’d actually call myself extremely involved in the family business. Last summer alone I probably worked about 200 hours, just taking orders at the window and managing the money. And that’s just during shifts alone. I’m not counting the many times I’ve helped my dad out with buying supplies and preparing before a big event.

AT and AA: What’s the hardest obstacle your family had to overcome when setting up the food truck?

AP: Well, after our restaurant closed, we had to move all the way from our home in Murrieta to live with my mom’s dad here in Irvine. My parents got a loan of a couple thousand dollars from my grandpa and they’ve built the business from there, and I truly admire them for that. Together, we’ve gotten back on our feet and are very proud to call ourselves the owners of a small family business.

AT and AA: What’s something that people may not know about running a food truck?

AP: It’s a lot more stressful and time-consuming than people think. You need to be constantly booking events to go to, while coordinating your employees between multiple trucks and still finding time to spend with family outside of work. However, despite our very busy schedules, the business provides us with a medium to enjoy quality time together, and I am very grateful for that.

AT and AA: Do you plan on continuing the business in the future?

AP: No actually, I want to go onto college and study business so I can start my own.

AT and AA: Do you think the food truck has changed you or shaped you in any was as a person?

AP:Yes. I think experiencing what I have has helped me broaden my perspectives and given me a unique outlook on life than most of my peers. My involvement in this business has taught me important lessons that no paid internship or SAT course could have ever come close to doing.