Cameron and Brenda Glinke own Pie Hole Pizza Truck. They make individual pizzas in their food truck.
By Jordan Holley
LANSING, MI -- Food trucks have become increasingly popular, popular enough to even have a show dedicated to them on the Food Network a few years ago. Street-food lovers are lining up across the country for good eats. In response to shorter lunch hours and the increasing desire for healthier options, there are several food trucks in the area that serve a variety of foods. One of the more unique food trucks is Pie Hole Pizza Truck.
Cameron and Brenda Glinke own Pie Hole Pizza Truck. It is one of few food trucks serving the Greater Lansing area selling individual pizzas. Their homemade dough and sauces with many choices from pepperoni to gourmet vegan options make the truck an appealing option for hungry customers.
As it turns out, pizza is not an easy item to sell out of a food truck. There are many different factors to be considered. A special oven is necessary to bake the pizza. It must be small enough to fit in the truck while also able to bake the pizza in pursuit of the perfect golden brown crust.
“I will tell you that we spent quite a lot of time looking into different ovens that could do this because pizza is what we wanted to make. We didn't want to do something that we felt was already being done,” said Brenda Glinke. “So we researched the kind of oven that could cook pizza that taste like wood fired pizza. We can make a lot of pizzas in two hours.”
Another challenge that Pie Hole Pizza Truck owners face is dealing with the laws and regulations of the many different places they want to travel to. It is important that food truck owners adhere to the sanitary and health requirements of each location they will be serving in.
“Each township has different rules and ordinances. If you want to do it how we’re doing it and go to many different areas, there’s a lot of research involved. Then there is the follow up with phone calls and permits to pull. Each has a different requirement so there is not cookie cutter solution and that can be a challenge,” said Glinke.
The pizza truck has several locations that it visits regularly. On Tuesday, it can usually be found in downtown Lansing on Allegan Street by the post office ready to feed state workers who appear pressed for time. The rest of the locations are usually changing week to week and based on demand and you can find out more information on their Facebook and Twitter page.
Rachelle Jagger reviewed them on their Facebook page and said, “Great people and great pizza. Can’t wait to bring the family along next time and try the other varieties, although the margarita was perfect.”
Glinka said, “Our goal from the beginning has been to spread out to several different areas so are schedule is kind of consistent but it does obviously change. Customers would ask us to come to their town or their area. We opened last August, so we’re fairly new and basically we would try the area out and we have gotten a pretty loyal following. That has been enough for us to keep coming back.”
Since the location of the food truck is always changing social media becomes invaluable to the business. It is the best way to keep people up to date on where the truck is going week to week.
“I think social media does help to be as consistent as possible, for example, every Sunday night I post on social media and our website all of our locations for the whole week and the menu then throughout the week I reiterate each location the day before,” said Glinke. “If you have a brick and mortar store hours are posted and they are what they are. So keeping your followers updated on what you are doing and where are you going that is key when it comes to food trucks.”
Keeping up a following with customers is especially valuable for food trucks, which unlike restaurants are seasonal. During the winter, Pie Hole Pizza Truck is closed except by special request.
“We did three events this winter only because we were asked. The people who promote events in REO Town have been great to us so we’re very loyal to them. They had a couple events this winter and asked us if we would be willing to pull the truck out to do those events,” said Glinke. “We opened back up for the summer season in April and our following has returned, people were so excited about it. For our friends and family event, we just opened it to people in the area. The response was amazing; I think we sold over 350 pizzas. I was concerned that we would lose momentum because the truck is gone for months but I almost think it may have helped us. People must have been craving our pizza all winter and know we are ready to serve a piping hot delicious pizza made just for them.”
Editor’s note: Pie Hole Truck has some great reviews on Facebook. Log on and tell them that you found about them here. Their website is pieholepizzatruck.com.
Jordan Holley graduated from Michigan State University in 2017. He is currently an intern at The New Citizens Press.
Printed in the June 25, 2017 - July 8, 2017 edition.