Like BACON?? Then you’ll definitely want to meet Kelly!! She’s a former trucker who now runs a food truck in Las Vegas called Blondie’s Bacon Creations. Apart from cooking up delicious bacon, she’s also a single mother of two children and recently won an episode of Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games with famed chef Guy Fieri. So yes, we’re impressed! We recently caught up with Kelly and talked about trucking, starting her own business, and, of course, some of the best bacon creations her food truck has to offer:
CTT: When did you start driving a semi?
Kelly: I went OTR [that’s “over the road” or long-haul trucking] in 2004 with a friend who was an owner operator and had an absolutely amazing time. After being OTR, I started driving an End-Dump for a local company. When I got pregnant with my daughter, I had to leave trucking, though I would definitely like to drive a truck again one day! It was a lot of work, but I had so much fun and met so many amazing folks!
CTT: What else did you love about trucking? Did you have a radio call-name?
Kelly: My handle was “Blonde Bombshell.” And I loved the open road! It is definitely a way of life and takes a particular person and mindset to leave everything at home and dedicate your career to the blacktop. The hardest part was relocating my son, who was 4 at the time, to live with my mom so I could make money. However, looking back I wouldn’t change anything – the benefit to my life and to the future of my family was well worth the experience.
CTT: You made the food for a bacon-themed bachelorette party, which sounds awesome!, and afterward your friends encouraged you to start a food truck; when did it become a serious consideration?
Kelly: A number of my co-workers who had been at the party talked about it and pretty much had an intervention to convince me that I had a future in culinary. Starting my food truck journey involved 18 months of research and planning. I did a lot of reading, learned from established food trucks, and even worked for free in a local food truck for a day!
CTT: Was there any specific experience or passion that convinced you this was something in which you could be successful?
Kelly: Well, I mean, BACON!!! During my research about the Food Truck scene here – and really everywhere in the US – it was very obvious that successful food trucks have a specific genre or specialty. But in Southern Nevada there was no bacon! During the research phase of my business planning, I watched every food truck show on TV and YouTube and even bought a book called “Food Trucks for Idiots.” There was no doubt in my mind that a bacon-themed food truck would be successful in Las Vegas. I was also fortunate to speak with a fellow bacon-lover and owner of a very successful bacon truck in San Francisco. Getting to pick his brain for over an hour really solidified for me that I had a viable and promising concept.
CTT: Have any life or work lessons from big-rig-trucking translated into food-trucking?
Kelly: Experience in customer service and daily pre-trip inspections has been REALLY instrumental! I downsized from a 53′ trailer with a freightliner to a 26-foot box truck. Trucking definitely taught me how to backup or park a trailer anywhere it needs to be. Bonus: my truck has a pretty cool bacon weave wrap.
CTT: What’s the craziest bacon creation you’ve made?
Kelly: The “Sticky Elvis” is a sandwich I came up with while at a farmer’s market. I met a honey vendor there and we ended up “food trading” honey for bacon sandwiches. After tasting the local Southern Nevada honey, with notes of alfalfa and sagebrush and dark as molasses – it’s so, so good! – I had the idea to drizzle it all over bacon! The sandwich would need sweetness and creaminess, so at the market I also bought some bananas and at home included a light coating of peanut butter. And OH MY GAWD – pure happiness! A bacon, honey, and banana sandwich on sourdough bread sounds bizarre, but it’s warm, creamy, salty, sweet, and savory, with the right amount of crunch and tear from the bacon and the bread. It’s really just… “wow!”
CTT: What’s new/good to order today at your truck?
Kelly: Other than the Sticky Elvis, the ultimate bacon experience is the Bacon Melt, which has lots of bacon, caramelized onions, and melty cheddar cheese on fresh, bacon-crusted sourdough bread. The Dumpster Fries are also great; they’re seasoned curly fries topped with bacon, caramelized onions, fresh jalapeños, two over-easy fried eggs, melted cheese, and a drizzle of ranch. Poking the perfectly cooked eggs makes the most beautiful and delicious egg-yolk sauce that combined with the other ingredients is just… “yum!”
CTT: What else would you like our Commercial Truck Trader readers to know?
Kelly: There is a lot of work that goes into running a food truck, but nothing is more satisfying than meeting customers and hearing how much they loved the food I created! Their joy in bacon bliss makes all the hard work totally worth it. I have also been able to raise two kids on my own. Both my son and my daughter work on my truck so they can learn the value of hard-work and know that they can follow their dreams. Finally, I did recently find out that my food truck will need some repairs, so if any readers are in Southern Nevada, I’m for sure open to trading bacon for truck repairs!
*You can check out Blondie’s Bacon Creations on Facebook here!!
**This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and conciseness.