If you haven't already seen the big, pink truck around the Holy City then I'm about to break some awesome news to you. There's a new dessert food truck making the rounds around Charleston. Dulce is already turning heads and not because of the vehicle's color, but because of the tasty treats the owner, Erika, is serving up!
Dulce will not only be serving a plethora of desserts, but also some refreshing sweet teas as well. I was lucky enough to meet Erika and sample a carmel-covered brownie a few weeks back. The brownie was delicious and Erika was friendly, inviting and passionate about her food! I can't wait to try more from Dulce (especially after seeing their pictures on Facebook - see below).
I spoke to Erika about Dulce, Charleston, and the food truck industry. Here are some excerpts from our conversation...
1. What brought you to create a food truck?
I have always looked forward to the dessert course of any meal. I usually look at the desserts on the menu before I see what the appetizers or main courses are. With the growing number of food trucks in the Charleston area and my passion for pastries, it just seemed like the right thing to do.
2. Is it a difficult industry to break into?
Yes, definitely. Because you do not have a set retail shop, people have to find you. That sometimes is a good thing but for the most part, you have to figure out where people want you to be.
3. What has the feedback been like so far?
Very positive. The menu is so varied and changes all the time so it's a pleasant surprise to customers. At the same time, I want to be sure to have customer favorites on a regular basis so they can come back for what they really like.
4. Is there a paticular dish that you feel is going to be your signature dish?
I truly think my cheesecake. Although the toppings/flavors will change seasonally, the cheesecake will be a staple that you can expect to always see. I get so many requests for my cheesecake I have to be sure to keep it on the truck on a regular basis.
5. Your teas are all made with leaves from the Charleston Tea Plantation, are there other ingridients that are local?
For summer, the blueberries are handpicked by my husband and myself from Blueberry Heaven. I also have strawberries from Charpia Farms in Summerville. Herbs, such as basil and mint are from my own garden. Peaches are all South Carolina-grown from where ever I may be able to source them at the time. I have a new dessert that includes rice that I will use Carolina Gold Rice in. I am always looking for more local ingredients to incorporate in my creations and welcome any suggestions of local products that may be of interest for our truck. Also, all of our cups, containers and straws are made from biodegradable corn plastic that we get locally from Port City Paper.
6. What's your culinary background?
I actually went to culinary school for savory cuisine at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale. During that time I worked at a small cafe with a self-taught German pastry chef. I developed such a desired to learn more techniques and flavor combinations that I decided pastry was the way to go. I've worked in New York and Connecticut as a pastry chef before I moved to Charleston and now have my own pastry filled food truck.