Saturday, January 22, 2011

Transitions: from fries to soup, from grime to shine

Once upon a time, in the late summer, I bought an ugly old chip truck. It was cheap.
And it had a really cool grill.
Is that reason enough to buy a truck? My brother didn't think so... He looked toward the future, and saw the trouble of the aged vehicled-repairs, unknowns and many dollars. I looked and saw the cute grill, style, and vintage adorableness.

It ran, but barely, and had no brakes. I towed it to the mechanics. He thought it would be a bit to get it running, but doable. I still thought it was a good truck. See how ugly it is? We didn't even take pictures of the inside. It was too gross- they'd used lard. And waterproofed with roofing tar. I got a good deal.
This is where I started to pay for the good deal. And the mechanic's bill was twice what he'd thought, but boy, it was FUN to drive. I got the safety and the plates.

My bro returned to Saskatchewan to work on a contract, and I drove the van to my sisters', where my brother in law and I pried apart the lard welded fryers with crowbars and managed to sell a bunch of the fryer stuff. Small, small return...

Blasted it!  Nasty Paint, gone!
Pretty paint, ON! Ooh, that grill.

And then- my brother returns. We plot. We plan. He gets the flu for three weeks. I start a soup delivery business and get more credit. He chastises me for painting the truck too early, but agrees that really, it's cute. I stress a little. Our discovery of Ottawa stores specializing in obscure fastening items, retro truck parts and electrical items begins to grow. Now, in mid- January, we are experts.
We get into the garage.
It's filled with limos.
Brian, who rents it to us, has a limo company. He drove Gordie Howe around in the summer. We try not to get paint anywhere. We ripped everything out, insulated it, and made the roof work.

I'm small and fit in the truck. My brother is large and does not.

And we rebuild. The strapping and insulation is first so we can put more things on afterward.And we can be warm, even though we're in a garage. It's cold outside and inside.

I bring soup, and eat it there, and then work after doing other stuff all morning. Like making menu boards, talking to licensing people and managing the soupscriptions and banking.

 Shanger and Shawn putting up the wall. Shanger took most of the pictures and was the king of the detail work, like this very well taped dashboard- which is now shiny chrome.

Les and Shawn finishing the edges. Shanger took this through the gas heater vent space.

 Jer arrives and does some awesome safety bear McGyvering of the beautiful awning and shelving.

Shawn working through the plumbing. This was tricky- I mean, mobile industrial kitchen in the winter and all. It's tricky.
Installing the outside fill pipe....

 Les and I figuring out the plumbing details. Very pensive.

Scrubbing out the last bits of dust. Jer finishing the edges of the floor.

 Jer on the electrical... We thought we could keep the old stuff. We couldn't. Nothing. But it'll be simpler now to install the solar when the time comes, which is soon.
 Les taking care of where the hot water tank used to be. King of Bondo.

Bryan and Silvana brought their detailed eyes and steady hands to the taping. 

Frank adds the French...


Les orders soup... 
From me in the finished kitchen with the stove, fridge, and sink. Look at all that room!

 So happy! So grateful! So tired! So grateful!


Wendy said...

LOVE THIS! You are so awesome - what a great photoessay. Love BIG SISTAH in the SOUTH.

Joan/mom said...

Awesome, it is beautiful and so are you two, my super children.

McCee said...

Awesome is right! What a transformation! Congrats to you and your crew on an amazing job and every good wish for success in your new venture. McCee

Hawkeye said...

What a journey! And it's only the beginning!

Ari said...

What an accomplishment! Congrats to you and Les!

Erin said...

Yeehaw! Teamwork! Nicely done!

Alejandro said...

Amazing! The most beautiful truck in all the world. And the best soup in town!

Sarah said...

Where can we find the truck to try your soups?!?

Soup Jackie said...

Thank you so much for all the wonderful feedback! I love the truck.
We are opening on Thursday at Pig Island on the Rideau Canal- right across from Lansdowne Park. You can follow on Twitter @TheSoupJackie!

Ottawa Roofing Companies said...

Well done. When we are working outside winter months instead of coffee i would love to get a soup instead, you guys deliver???