What started out as an idea for his father, became Avi Shemtov’s flourishing business. In 2007, when Avi’s father was opening a Middle Eastern restaurant, Avi thought up a logo and the unique name, Chubby Chickpea, to brand the establishment. But when Avi’s father decided to go with his own ideas, Avi reaped the benefits.
Managing a real estate office at the time and with no prior restaurant experience, Avi decided to take the creative name and logo he had created a couple of years earlier to open his own restaurant. In June 2010, The Chubby Chickpea was born, serving up authentic Israeli style Middle Eastern food in Canton, MA. This past winter, Avi decided to take his restaurant to the next level. To get more exposure and better serve his demographic, he decided to buy a food truck and sell his Middle-Eastern cuisine on the streets! The Chubby Chickpea Mobile now serves lunch in Boston at three different locations, five days a week! Obviously, one of the biggest benefits of having his food truck was being able to move around the city. If one location didn’t work, Chubby Chickpea would move to a different spot with more foot traffic.
But starting a new venture came with a price — Avi quickly learned that managing a food truck was a lot different than running the front of a restaurant. But not everything is different. One of the most important aspects of running a restaurant is the same for running a food truck. “Customer service is king! Always be honest with a customer and they will always respect you,” says Avi. He’s learned to communicate when items are running low so that customers aren’t disappointed and he’s also learned how to deal with challenging feedback he receives when lines are long. “It’s all part of growing the business,” he says. “Since we opened last winter we’ve become better and more consistent everyday.” There’s been a lot of discussion lately about brick and mortar restaurants and how costs of owning and managing a food truck are so much less. But, on the other hand, food truck owners can lose a day’s work when an engine doesn’t start or a generator fails. However, since rent for storefronts are so high in areas such as Downtown Boston, a mobile food truck does have the advantage of being able to move thus escaping high rental fees.
Now that he’s made it to the top, Avi’s looking forward to the day when Kevin Garnett or Mayor Menino stop by to have some falafel at The Chubby Chickpea Mobile. Find The Chubby Chickpea Mobile at the following Boston locations from 10am-3pm, or check out their storefront at 588 Washington St, Canton, MA. Monday — Financial District: Corner of Milk St. & Kilby St. Tuesday — Back Bay: Stuart St. at the corner of Trinity Place Wednesday — City Hall Plaza Thursday — Back Bay: Stuart St. at the corner of Trinity Place Friday — Back Bay: Stuart St. at the corner of Trinity Place Twitter: twitter.com/ChubbyChickPea Facebook: www.facebook.com/chubbychickpea