WOODBURY – The owners of John’s Café and Woodbury Farm Market are going to build a food trailer. But will their venture, Green Eggs and Hamburgers, have permission to park and sell burgers at Woodbury Farm Market for a few hours a day?
Woodbury Farm Market co-owner Joe Donato will present his application for a variance request to operate a food truck in his store’s 717 Main St. S. parking lot at the Zoning Board of Appeal’s meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Shove Building.
Donato presented the Zoning Board with the plan for the food trailer on August 8, and that application was accepted. However, it was discovered during the August 8 meeting that the Town of Woodbury has no zoning regulations on food trucks, so Donato decided to withdraw that application and go through the ZBA.
There was, at one time, a food truck regulation. However, after El Camion opened its restaurant on Sherman Hill Rd. and was no longer operating its taco truck on Main St., the regulation was removed from the town’s zoning laws.
“With no regulation in the book, we have to go to the ZBA,” Joe Donato said.
With or without the Town of Woodbury’s approval to operate the truck in the Woodbury Farm Market’s parking lot, John’s Café owner and chef Dennis DeBellis said the business – Green Eggs and Hamburger Catering Company – will exist.
If the ZBA turns down Donato’s request, the Green Eggs and Hamburgers truck will still cater events and parties and operate at small festivals. DeBellis said he is hoping the truck will be ready to roll in time to operate at the Woodbury Fall Festival and feed hungry patrons at the soon-to-open Woodbury Brewing Company.
Unique Marketing Partnership
While the Green Eggs and Hamburgers truck will be co-owned by Joe and Sue Donato and DeBellis, Big Green Egg will play a big part in the marketing and the start-up costs. Big Green Egg, which makes and markets ceramic charcoal-powered grills modeled on the clay cooking vessels first seen during the Chinese Qin Dynasty and then used by the Japanese beginning in the 3rd century, will provide and pay for most of the trailer wrapping (exterior decoration), two extra-large cookers, and a palate of charcoal.
DeBellis compared the idea of the food trailer serving food outside Woodbury Farm Market to a hot dog cart you’d see outside a Home Depot store, but with an added twist as a marketing vehicle for Big Green Egg.
“Why can’t people come in here in the fall and buy their pumpkins, buy their mums, and then get a hamburger when they’re through shopping?” DeBellis said. “And, oh, by the way, we sell the Big Green Egg inside, too.”
Sue Donato says Woodbury Farm Market has been selling Big Green Egg for almost two years. The front right side of the store is a showroom for Big Green Egg grills and products, and Joe Donato build a gazebo outside that also showcases Big Green Egg products.
“They are very much into this, because it promotes them, too,” Sue Donato said of Big Green Egg.
What’s For Lunch?
DeBellis said all the food that is cooked in the Green Egg and Hamburger trailer will be cooked on the Big Green Egg. The menu, to start, will be limited.
“We’re going to do some hamburgers, sausages, quinoa bowls, and chicken thighs,” DeBellis said. “The menus is going to evolve, but for now it’s kind of small.”
DeBellis said he is looking to have Goshen-based Nodine’s Smokehouse come up with a sausage that would be unique to the Green Eggs and Hamburger trailer. He is also looking to work with his brother, who is a butcher in New Fairfield, to come up with a hamburger blend that would also be exclusive.
The trailer will also serve fries, but those will not be cooked on a Big Green Egg.
Cooking on a Big Green Egg is a new experience for DeBellis, who said he never used one until Joe Donato towed one over to the restaurant about a month ago.
DeBellis said it takes a bit getting used to because it involves temperature control and charcoal, where as in a restaurant you just turn on a gas grill. He added that users must play around with air flow. He’s had it as hot as 1,000 degrees, which is like a pizza oven, as low as 200 degrees for slow cooking.
“It’s really a unique flavor and style of cooking, and a trendy apparatus right now, and I think we’re jumping on it at the right time,” DeBellis said.