Picture this. You're out and about in the city and you spot a food truck. Who am I kidding they are everywhere in the Loop, especially during lunch hour. Each filled with gluttonous (and coincidentally) gluten-ous delicacies. Grilled Cheese, Tacos, Burger, Donuts and more.
But wait - you spot one more. This one looks different. Can it be? Does this truck display my two favorite words?
Yes friends. Dreams do come true thanks to one thriple-threat of a gal -- CheSa. She launched the first 100% GLUTEN FREE FOOD TRUCK in the city and one of the first in the country!
Read more about her story below.
CheSa's Gluten Tootin Free Food Truck
1. Tell me about your journey to finding out all your gluten intolerance.
My story begins after a few months I found out I was pregnant with my daughter Chloe. You see I was a gym junkie, grilled food foodie, and salad eating enthusiast. I had a diet and workout routine that was easy to maintain. It was pretty simple. I would however throw in a pb&j a few times a week after a workout. And to my surprise, at the end of the summer of 2012, I gained 70 pounds in a mere 6 months! Something was clearly up.
My doctor suggested giving up gluten to see if I have an intolerance, and it was clear that gluten was definitely the culprit.
After a year of eating gluten free, and finally feeling comfortable with the diet and lifestyle, I started to venture out again into the Chicago restaurant scene. I saw how few options there were. It was a struggle dining out and seeing my foodie favorites angelically float by my table.
It wasn't until 2015 where my story truly takes flight. I attended my first food truck festival and I loved it! However, literally nothing was catered to little ol' me.
A few months out of hunger - the idea was born.
Someone needed to create a gluten free food truck -- and that someone was me.
2. You made a major jump from the corporate world to start your own business. Tell me about your journey to becoming an entrepreneur?
It was not easy. Owning my own business is comparable to giving birth to my daughter and watching her grow. My life has taken on a unique spin and entrepreneurship has given me freedom and purpose.... just like my daughter.
3. How did the CheSa's Gluten Tootin Food Truck come to be?
I started my business out of hunger. Literally! I was always looking for something that was gluten-free and said, “someone needs to create a gluten-free food truck”. That someone became me. I literally walked into a food truck.
4. What's your favorite thing on the menu?
My favorite thing is the All Hale Kale Salad with chicken.
5. Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Have power talks with yourself daily. We need encouragement every moment of the day.
6. Do you have any tips for those newly diagnosed with a gluten intolerance?
The hardest thing is adjusting to different taste. People think that the food has to be bland. Look for the certified GF logo on the food label. Also, when using salt opt for kosher or sea salt. Use sugar in the raw instead of regular sugar. It’s gluten-free.
7. What's next for your business?
I am planning to open 100% gluten free restaurant in the fall, located in Ukrainian Village.
8. How can readers find your food truck?
See what's cooking in CheSa's Truck: https://www.chesasgtf.com/chesa-s-menu