Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sweets Truck Giving Puts Icing on the Cake

For Southern California foodies, the hottest new trend on the culinary scene is a legion of mobile gourmet food trucks, dynamic small businesses that have become an overnight fixture of the Los Angeles and Orange County streetscape.

Patterned after LA’s beloved taco trucks, these roving food peddlers have given that storied concept a 21st century spin by utilizing social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to telegraph their location via real-time messaging, fostering a hip, underground mystique.

A personal favorite of mine, and one of the trailblazers of the scene, is Kogi Korean BBQ, a four-truck outfit that specializes in yummy Korean/Mexican fusion dishes like Spicy Pork Tacos and Kimchi Quesadillas.

And though Kogi was an originator of the concept, it’s the newest upstart that really has mouths watering. The Sweets Truck, a popular addition to the food truck community, makes an art out of skipping to the best part – dessert! Founded by entrepreneur Molly Taylor, this “mobile cafĂ© and bakeshop” specializes in a dazzling array of cupcakes, brownies, cookies, cakes, espresso drinks and Italian sodas.

And though I’ve been tempted into sin by their delicious wares more than a few times already, there’s one aspect of the Sweets Truck business model that deserves special attention here.

Like the charitable contributions of the San Francisco-based Mission Street Food truck previously profiled on our blog, Molly Taylor and her team have a cutting-edge commitment to giving. Promising “a sugar rush you can feel good about,” the Sweets Truck donates a healthy dollop of its profits to local organizations “doing good things.”

Their foremost charitable partner of the moment is Schools on Wheels, an LA-based group that provides one-on-one tutoring for homeless children living in shelters, motels and foster homes. They’ve also given generously to other groups, including LA Animal Services and Kids in Sports, an organization designed to offer after-school athletic programs to kids in underserved LA neighborhoods. By way of cherry on top, the Sweets Truck site even offers co-sponsorship for charitable events, walks, runs and fundraisers.

Molly Taylor and the Sweets Truck prove that while success is sweet, the most gratifying gift is giving back.

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