STAMFORD, Conn. — Stamford native Darlene Andersen hopes to parlay the success of her popular Melt Mobile food truck into a franchise operation — and possibly stores and kiosks. But she doesn’t plan to take the Melt Mobile too fast.
“We need to grow organically and do it the right way,” said Andersen, whose business partner is Stamford native Diana Hall. “I don’t want to grow too quickly.”
Andersen would love to open her first franchise in New Haven, with its many colleges and hospitals. But she is also interested in Brooklyn, Manhattan and other locations within two to three hours of Stamford.
The franchisee doesn’t need food or sales experience, but they need enthusiasm for the business as well as a network of people in their area, she said.
“It’s gotta be somebody who has an awesome attitude, is excited about food, is excited about the awesome product that they have, is wiling to take direction and structure, yet have their own business and run their own business,” Andersen said.
Andersen hopes to grow the business to 20 to 30 franchisees in five years, hopefully reaching hundreds at the 10-year mark.
The cuisine appeals to the tastes of consumers, who are drawn to a reimagined version of a classic staple of their childhood, she said.
“It brings you back to childhood. Everybody loves grilled cheese,” Andersen said. “It’s a classic comfort food that we’ve made gourmet.”
The most popular item on the menu tends to be the meatball three cheese squeeze, which she also enjoys.
“I still get a smile on my face every single time someone orders it because it’s just so good,” Andersen said.
Andersen also is considering brick and mortar locations and kiosks in addition to food trucks. The business is very flexible, Andersen said.
“The sky is the limit,” she said. “You can put us anywhere.” Melt Mobile locations could appear at an airport, hockey stadium or mall.
Melt Mobile primarily serves Fairfield County and Westchester County, N.Y. For more information on Melt Mobile, visit its website here.
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