Michael Holloway

Sookie’s Veggie Burgers to Host “Food Truck Drive Thru”

Food truck will maintain social distancing while serving up veggie burgers and fries.

By - Apr 16th, 2020 06:43 pm
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John McCune and Elle Borden, owners of Sookie’s Veggie Burgers. Photo courtesy of Sookie’s Veggie Burgers.

John McCune and Elle Borden, owners of Sookie’s Veggie Burgers. Photo courtesy of Sookie’s Veggie Burgers.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, restaurants that once exclusively served food in the comfort of their dining rooms have pivoted to curbside-pickup, takeout and delivery. But for food trucks, like Sookie’s Veggie Burgers, curbside has always been the spot to grab a bite to eat.

Like many, the owners of Sookie’s, John McCune and Elle Borden, took some time off to safely quarantine inside their home. Now they’re returning to the streets to sell their home-made veggie burgers and fries.

On April 18, Sookie’s will set up shop on Michigan St. across the way from Discovery World (500 N. Harbor Dr.) from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Rather than risk breaking the six-feet-apart social distancing rule by having patrons line up at the food truck to place their orders, Sookie’s is taking a drive-through approach. Customers will order their food without leaving their vehicles via a Square site. They will then receive a text when their order is finished and will pull their vehicle up to the food trailer and have their order placed on the hood of their car or in the backseat in order to keep contact to a minimum.

“We’ve been in self-isolation since sometime in March, so we’re trying really hard to make sure our food is one-hundred-percent safe and we’re safe too, because it’s going to be a contact-free drive-through,” says co-owner McCune.

Sookie’s menu is small but delivers on the promise of healthy vegetarian/vegan friendly burgers with gluten-free options. They have two burgers, giving customers the choice between the Black Bean Walnut Burger and the Sweet Potato Pecan Burger, both priced at $7. For a side, choose between the regular french fries for $3 or the sweet potato fries for $4. For a gluten-free option, try subbing out the hamburger buns for lettuce wraps.

“We spent the entirety of last summer coming up with recipes for our burgers,” says McCune. “(The burgers) are all original recipes we developed ourselves.”

Sookie’s started as a business plan conceived by McCune and Borden after both had graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the spring of 2019. The couple submitted their plan to a business-start-up competition at UWM’s Lubar School of Business and won enough money to purchase the food trailer that they currently use. Sookie’s, named for Borden’s dog, started selling its veggie burgers in September of 2019.

“I was vegan for a while and I was frustrated with the lack of fast, affordable vegan options out there,” says McCune. “You can’t really go to fast food restaurants and find vegan options, so I decided that it was a niche.”

Since opening, Sookie’s has been popping up at Black Husky Brewing, the County Courthouse and other rotating locations. Eventually, McCune hopes to add a beet burger to the menu that he’s been working on, and eventually wants to open a brick and mortar location for Sookie’s. But for now, he is hoping that the drive-through is a success, in which case, it will become a recurring event with additional food trucks thrown into the mix.

“All of the events that we were planning to go to are starting to be canceled and its really hitting us hard because that’s where a lot of food trucks make their money,” says McCune. “So, if people can help make this a successful thing, this is how I hope to expand it: bringing more food trucks into the fold so that more businesses can survive.”

For more information, visit sookiesveg.com or check out the Facebook event.

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