Last night may have been unseasonably warm for NYC, but Drive Change and Situ Studio brought a taste of winter to the Brooklyn Navy Yard with the unveiling of their new food truck, Snow Day. Marrying inventive design, social justice and lip-smacking maple-infused treats, the mobile restaurant aims to hire formerly incarcerated youngsters, giving them a vehicle (literally) to learn valuable skills and turn their lives around. Check out our photo gallery of Snow Day's repurposed and recycled design and read on to see where you'll be able to try out the truck's wintery bites - like grilled cheese drizzled with maple syrup, savory pancake poppers and maple bacon doughnuts.
Drive Change was founded by social entrepreneur Annie Bickerton and Jordyn Lexton, a teacher who saw a need for change after teaching at Rikers Island for three years. Lexton explained that in New York, criminals as young as 16 years old are recognized and tried as adults, and oftentimes emerge back into the world unsure of how to integrate back into society. That uncertainty, coupled with the unwillingness of many employers to hire ex-cons, can all too often lead right back into a life of crime. Bickerton and Lexton started Drive Change as a way for formerly incarcerated youth to earn a paycheck but also to re-connect with people through something everyone can relate to – food. Snow Day is Drive Change’s very first food truck, and Lexton and Bickerton hope to roll several others like it out in the future.
“But we didn’t want it to look like any old halal cart,” Lexton told us, citing beautiful design and inspiring surroundings as a factor in empowering youth. In order to create a vehicle that was as compelling as the food it serves, Brooklyn-based Situ Studio was called in to transform an old Con-Ed truck with an abstract snowflake design that echoes Snow Day’s fun, arctic theme. Recycled materials such as reclaimed cedar and reclaimed Redwood from an old cooling tower were used to create the multi-colored, 3-layer snowflake pattern that wraps the vehicle. Stainless steel elements, such as the logo and metal accent panels, were also added. Finally, LED lighting was installed along the logo to create a striated, almost icicle-like effect. Food truck solutions specialists Shanghai MKS was called in to appoint the truck’s kitchen, which is currently still in progress.
Grilled cheese and maple syrup – a match made in heaven.
To match its cabin-esque exterior, Snow Day will be serving up a storm of dishes made using local, New York state-sourced maple syrup from producers like Crown Maple Syrup of Dutchess County. The complete menu will feature savory items like maple grilled cheese, pancake poppers, pulled pork sliders, wheatberry salad and maple bacon brussel sprouts as well as sweet confections like maple bacon doughnuts and “Sugar on Snow”, a pop made of maple syrup poured over fresh snow.
According the Lexton, the team is aiming to roll Snow Day out during the first week of January, after which it will be alternating between three set locations in DUMBO, Lower Manhattan and Chelsea. To keep track of Snow Day’s whereabouts and get your own maple-flavored fix, follow them on Twitter @snowdaytruck.
Photos ©Yuka Yoneda