BURRILLVILLE – Laurie McCutcheon and Julia O’Rourke love to cook, but until recently, it was unclear – even to them – if their long conversations about someday opening a food truck were just that: talk.
Now, the two friends have taken their talent in the kitchen on the road serving up their homemade, “Dinolicious,” creations from the window of a customized former Red Cross truck.
The pair held a soft opening for their new food truck business last weekend, with appearances at the Burrillville Farmer’s Market and outside Bravo Brewing Company. Custom menus catered to the respective crowds, with quiche, danish and individual pies served to the morning customers, and items like pretzels and dynamites slated to accompany Bravo’s home-brewed beer for afternoon clientele.
It’s a rotating menu format that they tentatively plan to keep, while working towards spots at larger events, where they can also focus on their original idea of selling loaded baked potatoes and other home-cooked meals.
“It’s all depending on location,” O’Rourke told NRI NOW. “It’s really going to depend on where we’ll be, and the season.”
O’Rourke noted that the friends have talked about launching a business for years, but it was never clear when or how it would happen until recently, when she got a call from McCutcheon asking how serious she was about being involved.
“I guess she got sick of just talking about it,” O’Rourke said.
The name, she notes, was made to appeal to families – a nod to their ‘delicious,’ offerings that also gives them a chance to talk friends into dancing about in a dinosaur costume to help with advertising.
The cooks, both Burrillville natives, purchased an old Red Cross truck for the business, decorated with decals from East Coast Artisans.
“It was in mint condition,” O’Rourke said of the vehicle, which the pair will now occupy on the weekends, while keeping their full-time jobs.
O’Rourke notes that opening a food truck is serious business, with different laws governing the license process for every city and town, which must be renewed yearly.
“It’s very time consuming,” O”Rourke said. “We knew that going in.”
So far, Dinolicious is licensed in Burrillville and Glocester, and the pair hopes to open at a location in the neighboring town next weekend.
On top of their skills at cooking, the women bring their own unique skills to the enterprise: O’Rourke is the planner, while McCutcheon will focus on bookkeeping and financing.
“And then, together, we can cook,” O’Rourke said. “So far, it’s working.”
Their truck is the second to open in Burrillville, following Courtney Ellis-Dietz’s OATmiel Café, which launched in 2019.
“Courtney helped,” O’Rourke said of the process. “She was instrumental in giving us a lot of tips and guidance.”
With the motto, “No seats, Just eats,” Dinolicious will continue a series of soft openings in the upcoming weeks. O’Rourke notes that unlike many such mobile vendors, they won’t be frying, and will aim for less processed options, with a preference for the home made.
“It’s going to be a little different,” O’Rourke said. “Not everybody is serving bread bowls and loaded potatoes.”
At an upcoming Grand Opening, they’ll have those potatoes topped with everything from the traditional chili or broccoli and cheese, to chicken pot pie and barbecue pulled pork, along with original soups and stews.
But O’Rourke notes that the items work best served to larger crowds. Eventually, the ladies hope to add Dinolicious to the lineup of trucks that regularly attend events and festivals throughout New England, like the PVD Food Truck crowd. Then, the ladies aim to show up with stacks of goodies such as holiday pies, and sell out.
For now, it’s about working out their system.
“We want to get out all of the kinks first,” she said.
If you’re curious who has been dancing about in the dinosaur costume, you’re out of luck: it seems O’Rourke’s lips are sealed about the identity of the top secret mascot.
“That person would kill me,” she said this week, laughing.
This Friday, Sept. 25, Dinolicious will be back at Bravo in Pascoag from 5 to 9 p.m. serving loaded nachos and other items incorporating beers from the brewery.
“We’re using the beer Bravo makes in our dipping sauces,” said O’Rourke.
It’s a large undertaking for the town-based entrepreneurs who until recently, were just casual cooks.
“We’ve never done anything like this before,” O’Rourke said. “It’s all new.”
To learn more, contact McCutcheon and O’Rourke at firstname.lastname@example.org or (401) 428-3666.