The world is full of beautiful locations, delicious food, and histories that shapes entire cultures. While we can all dream of visiting exotic locations, money and time are very real restraints. Which is a bummer. How do we experience new places and different lifestyles if we can’t afford to do so? That’s where food comes in.
One week we're celebrating our one year anniversary, the next, we air our 50th episode! When we launched The Utah Foodie our goal was to create a podcast that dove headfirst into the stories of the creators and innovators in Utah's food scene. Every week we've walked away from our interviews full of inspiration and appreciation. This episode, however, truly highlights how important it is to share these emotional and authentic stories.
When Nick Watts founded Chedda Truck, it was more of an online concept than a real company. Working multiple jobs and needing a creative outlet, Nick would stop by the farmers market during his free time to find the perfect ingredients for his homemade grilled cheese creations. His Chedda Truck Twitter account began to grow, and in a moment of generosity, a friend who owned a tattoo parlor offered him an evening to bring his grilled cheese out into the world for some of his customers.
What began as a low-key offer blew up into a frenzy as news of this grilled cheese launch began to spread through popular food blogs and Twitter accounts. Nick originally anticipated a small crowd, but over 250 customers and grilled cheese sandwiches later, it was apparent that this was more than just a casual evening.
And yet, Nick didn't open his food truck for another six months after his initial launch. After soul searching and working a mind numbing job, Nick knew a drastic change was needed. Hence, Chedda Truck became officially official.
What followed his launch was years of lessons learned, generous friends and strangers, and a full-time investment into Chedda Truck and Chedda Burger that was purely driven out of passion and an unwillingness to give up. With a physical location at 26 E 600 S and two food trucks, Nick's ambition and creativity are inspiring, and he offers wisdom and passion that is infectious.
This episode was sponsored by...
90.9FM KRCL -- Community Connection and Music Discovery
Vive Juicery -- A Utah-based cold-pressed juicery
The Chocolate Conspiracy -- A project in pure, raw, honey-sweetened chocolate.
Blue Copper Coffee -- Specialty coffee hand-roasted in Salt Lake City, with a coffee room at 179 W 900 S.
The Yelp Elite Squad, Utah's five-star fan club of all things local.
This episode was hosted by Chase Murdock and produced by Ryan Samanka. For more information or to browse our episode archive, visit theutahfoodie.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. See you next week!
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: the craft scene in Salt Lake City is growing at an impressive rate. With craft breweries and distilleries innovating and influencing the quality of beverage we enjoy in Utah, it’s apparent that Utahans are eager to support and enjoy locally made products.
Despite the popularity of craft brewing and distilleries, Utah has a very obvious lack of cideries. Cider is the fastest growing beverage market in the country. While a lot of chatter revolves around craft brewing, the amount of cider being consumed in the US has increased by 95% in the last year alone. With the United States Association of Cider Makers established five years ago, the popularity and artisan approach of cider making has grown leaps and bounds.
Jennifer and Jeff Carleton, the owners of Mountain West Cider, are cider lovers who were unimpressed by the available mass market options . They saw the lack of cideries in Utah as a problem, and knew they had the perfect solution. While Jennifer and Jeff had toyed with the idea of potentially opening a bar or restaurant, it was always a dream that they kept on the top shelf for a later date.
But one fateful day an article about cider sparked an idea, and Jennifer and Jeff quickly realized that their dream of owning a business of their own was more possible than they realized. After years of research, planning, and searching, Jennifer and Jeff opened Mountain West Cider in November 2015 at 425 N 400 W.
Join us on this episode of The Utah Foodie as we chat with Jennifer and Jeff about their journey from cider lovers to cidery owners, and learn more about the fascinating history of cider in the US.
Salt Lake City has a secret. It’s full of nerds. Tabletop games, cosplaying, cons, comics, geeky podcasts. Hell, we were even voted one of the nerdiest states in the country. The amount of accessibility to various geeky interests is growing, and what was once an underground and mocked culture has risen to the top of the pop culture pile. It’s now hip to be a nerd.
For Cori Hoekstra and Mike Tuiasoa, geekdom wasn’t a trend. It was a lifestyle. With strong roots in the Salt Lake City geek community, Cori and Mike were more than aware of the communities needs. With Cori’s background in coffee houses and restaurant management, and Mike’s desire to have ownership of a project, their shared dream of having freedom to create something on their own motivated them to look for opportunities. How could they tie their comic book and literature interests into a business? How could they provide an authentic experience that rang true to who they are, and to the community they are so proudly part of?
What began as a dream very quickly took shape into Watchtower Cafe, a coffee shop that provides an encompassing experience for all coffee shop customers, but also provides a space tailored for their nerdy and geeky guests looking for a space to gather. With high-quality coffee, delicious food, and a large, comfortable space to relax, Watchtower Cafe is more than meets the eye.
Join us for this week's entertaining and inspiring episode, as we dive into the short history of Watchtower Cafe, a unique coffee/hangout/event spot that brings a unique flavor to the growing Salt Lake City coffee scene.