"We just sold Umami Moto food truck and we'll be traveling the country running the Stouffer's Mac 'N' Cheese truck," explains Jae Stulock, who launched Umami with Sandy Madachik three years ago.
Stulock says that the pair will begin their cross-country journey in early April in Los Angeles, making their way around the country over the course of the year. Along the way they will act as ambassadors for Stouffer's and its products.
"It's to help bring the brand out of the freezer cases and down to street level — to show everybody that just because it's frozen food doesn’t mean it is isn't good food," he says. "It's also nice to take a strong Cleveland brand around the country."
The rig will operate just like any other food truck, selling portions of its regular mac and cheese, plus a variety of creative new creations like pizza mac and burger mac.
"It's a bitter-sweet thing to say goodbye to Umami Moto, but to have an adventure like this — you just can't turn that down."
There will be a going-away bash at Happy Dog on February 22. Also, fans will be able to keep track of Stulock's adventures on the Umami Facebook page.
The rig, however, isn't going far. New owners Matt Bolam and Tricia McCune will use it for their Wok n Roll Food Truck. The spouses have been perfecting the concept at the Cleveland Culinary Launch & Kitchen. Bolam will be running the truck full-time.
"We're coming from a marketing background," says McCune. "Last year I started the food blog CLE Foodies to begin to understand the Cleveland food industry."
The pair had fully intended to build a food truck before hooking up with Stulock. "The timing worked out so perfectly," she notes. "And our stories have so much in common."
Like Umami, Wok n Roll is an Asian-fusion concept. McCune describes the menu as a "Chipotle style" system, with diners selecting a protein and delivery vehicle. Chicken, pork, beef and tofu can be enjoyed as a rice plate, noodle bowl or salad. Lemon grass chicken is a signature item.
"We hope to be on the road by the middle of March so we can warm up before kicking into full gear in June," she says. "We plan on hitting all the food truck events."