BROCKTON – Justine Ramos was torn between two worlds: playing it safe, or exploring entrepreneurship and starting a new business venture.
Eventually, she put her fears aside and now cruises around the South Shore with her business partner, Jessica Vaughn, selling mac and cheese out of the food truck Cheesy Chicks.
“It was my goal before (age) 40 to open a business, and I hit that goal two years earlier,” Ramos said.
The food truck Cheesy Chicks offers a twist on Southern comfort food – offering mac and cheese with delectable add-ons like sautéed lobster, 12-hour pulled pork, buffalo chicken and salty bacon crumbs.
Ramos also features a mix of different mac and cheese sandwiches — from Smack Jackie, with a dollop of honey barbecue pulled pork grilled on potato bread, to the Cheese Louise, a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with creamy homemade mac and cheese.
The truck even has something for those with a sweet tooth, including fried Oreos; Cara-moo milkshake, a vanilla caramel milkshake; a mini chocolate chip cookie sandwich; and Choco-Holic milkshake, made with chocolate ice cream and Oreo cookie pieces topped with whipped cream.
How they got their start
The bubbling mac and cheese is the staple of the truck. Both owners have loved mac and cheese since they were young. Ramos developed the recipe and made it for special family events.
“If I brought a pan of my mac and cheese to a party, people would ask me to make it again. It became very popular, and I knew I was on to something,” Ramos said.
This isn’t an ordinary type of cheese mac and cheese. Ramos said there are four to five different cheeses in the dish.
It took 11 months to get the food truck up and running. For eight months, the truck was at a local garage for maintenance. Eight months was longer than Ramos anticipated but it did not discourage her.
Once the shop finished the truck, the real work began. First, Ramos removed the original wrap on the truck and sanded and painted it by herself.
“When I first thought of the idea, I didn’t do any research, which probably made the journey harder, but I didn’t want the steps to deter me from doing it. I just started it and kept going,” Ramos said.
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Motivated by watching her mom
As a young girl, Ramos watched her mom manage a business, Justine’s Dance Wheel, which created a work ethic for the young entrepreneur. She knew the value of a dollar and how hard her mother had to grind to keep the business running smoothly.
“A big motivation to become an entrepreneur was my mom and building my own schedule to be available for my children and their activities,” Ramos said.
Ramos went through several obstacles getting the truck on the road, from getting permits, passing inspections and bringing everything up to code.
The day Ramos got her last permit and was able to operate the food truck, she dropped to her knees and was overwhelmed with joy and cried happy tears, she said. It was a surreal moment for the entrepreneur, to see all of her hard work finally paid off.
“You have to work hard and fight for things you want. I want my kids to see my hard work, and hopefully, it will inspire them to be anything they want in life,” Ramos said.
The end goal for the pair is to open several food trucks and a catering businesses.
To inquire about Cheesy Chicks making a stop at your special event, visit CheesyChicks.com. The truck participates in Food Truck Fridays in Weymouth at Weymouth High School, 1 Wildcat Way.
Enterprise staff reporter Alisha Saint-Ciel can be reached by email at email@example.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @alishaspeakss and Instagram at Alishaatv. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Enterprise today.
This article originally appeared on The Enterprise: Cheesy Chicks: Brockton food truck offers mac and cheese, comfort food