Two Polish Princesses!

They've turned an idea into something that has been an amazing success! Keep up the good work ladies! - Photo via www.bettycrockski.com

They’ve turned an idea into something that has been an amazing success! Keep up the good work ladies! – Photo via http://www.bettycrockski.com

It can be tough to follow your heart sometimes. Usually your head or — more importantly — your finances get in the way. The thing is, your heart can sometimes be so much more important than your head!

Dana Szczepaniak and Kate Hey know a lot about that. They’re the duo behind one of Buffalo’s most creative food trucks, Betty Crockski. It’s serves Polish delights in a city where there are a large amount of people with Eastern European backgrounds, but few places to satisfy their culinary tastes. We had a chance to sit down with these burgeoning entrepreneurs to find out what has made them so successful and why taking a leap of faith may have been the best decision they ever made!

They're truck contains authentic polish folk art. - Photo via www.buffaloeats.org

They’re truck contains authentic polish folk art. – Photo via http://www.buffaloeats.org

WGOIB (What’s Going on In Buffalo): Tell Buffalo a little bit about yourselves!

DS (Dana Szczepaniak): Well, I grew up on Grand Island and moved around a lot after college, to the point where I felt a little like a gypsy. I have always loved food, but recently became a serious foodie. I was helping my friend open a restaurant in Santa Barbara, and she really opened my eyes, and taste buds to a whole new culinary experience.

KH (Katherine Hey): I grew up in the Buffalo area also, and kind of ended up everywhere as well. I spent my 20s in the restaurant industry while in school, and always missed it once I moved into my first career.

WGOIB: You’ve been around for almost a year now. What have you learned about the industry that you didn’t know from the beginning?

KH: It’s been an experience, mostly learning on the fly. Whatever people tell you to be prepared for, you can never know until you’re in the middle of it. Every day is a learning experience.

DS: Everything takes longer than you think, and the concept of being prepared for anything is merely a concept. Now that we’ve got some more experience under our belts, there is much less scrambling.

KH: The more you do something, the better you get at it.

Kate and Dana took a trip to Poland to learn local customs and ingredients to help give Betty Crockski a distinct flavor palette. -  Photo via http://bettycrockski.tumblr.com/tagged/polandtrip/chrono

Kate and Dana took a trip to Poland to learn local customs and ingredients to help give Betty Crockski a distinct flavor palette. – Photo via http://bettycrockski.tumblr.com/tagged/polandtrip/chrono

WGOIB: Why a Polish Food Truck?

DSR: We grew up in Polish-American families, we love Polish food, Dyngus Day is our favorite holiday, and we wanted to spread our traditions and culinary interpretations to Buffalo.

WGOIB: I remember seeing, when you sent out teasers about Betty Crockski, that you ladies took a trip to Poland. Is that correct?

KH: Yes, we did. I had never been to Poland, and we thought it would be a great opportunity for us to learn more about our culture, and explore the current culinary climate in Poland. We studied at The Culinary Institute of Krakow, we dined throughout the country, and left inspired and educated.

WGOIB: When did this go from an idea to a reality? Or when did it sink in that this was happening?

KH: For me it was when we bought the truck, and it was parked in front of my apartment during the winter.

What they learned in Poland they now use to make some of Buffalo's best polish fare! - Photo via www.buffalospree.com

What they learned in Poland they now use to make some of Buffalo’s best polish fare! – Photo via http://www.buffalospree.com

DS: For me, it was when we returned from Poland and went directly from the airport to pick up the truck in New Jersey. When we opened the doors and saw that the truck had been transformed from an electrician’s truck to an operating kitchen, I knew it was real.

WGOIB: Well you two have been very busy lately. How can you describe all the Buffalove you’ve gotten?

DS: To have been named as Buffalo Spree’s Best new food truck was such an honor, it’s things like that help fuel the desire to go forward and continue to create.

KH: One of the best parts of this business is being a part of Buffalo’s Renaissance. We both returned to Buffalo because we love it here, so the LoveFest going on here is pretty mutual.

WGOIB: What’s next for you two?

KH: We’re excited to keep growing. This ride has been pretty awesome.

DS: We have a few irons in the fire. We’re gearing up for a busy holiday season with some bulk ordering options, as well as a few other projects we’re both pretty excited about.

Well, there you have it: two young ladies who change the way we look at Polish Food. If you’d like to learn more about Betty Crockski, check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and their homepage. And, as always, they will be back at Food Truck Tuesdays starting in the spring again. But if you need a fix, no worries. They’ll be around this winter 😉

 

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