UD senior set to Open Food Cart Business

April 9, 2012 under CANR News

Having secured a space at the Delaware Tire Center across from the University of Delaware’s south Newark campus, UD senior Leigh Ann Tona will be serving up sandwiches to members of the UD and Newark community from her “I Don’t Give a Fork” food cart. If you’re looking for utensils to eat your tasty meal, however, you’re going to have to bring your own.

“I Don’t Give a Fork” will serve up delicious sandwiches, wraps and paninis, all foods designed for patrons to eat with their hands. The business is part of the UDSeed Project, an innovative web platform launched by UD’s Entrepreneurial Studies Program that enables alumni, faculty, staff and community members to participate in the inspiring work that UD students do every day.

Tona, a management major with an entrepreneurial studies minor, said that she got the idea for the food cart when her hometown friend told her about how she worked on a food truck during the summer. Once she heard about the food truck, Tona said that she thought it sounded like a pretty “low cost start up business” that she wanted to explore.

Having wanted to own her own business since she was 13, Tona said that she is excited that an idea hatched in her entrepreneurship classroom has blossomed into an actual business. “It sort of went from being a joking around idea to a project for a class to me saying, ‘you know what, I’ve always wanted to do this so, might as well.’”

As for the attention-grabbing name, Tona said that she and her roommates sat around when they were bored throwing around names just for fun, and that her roommate actually came up with the “I Don’t Give a Fork” moniker. When asked about royalties, Tona said, “She gets free sandwiches for life.”

With regards to the menu, Tona explains that she will serve breakfast sandwiches, such as egg and bacon, egg and cheese, and egg and sausage, in the morning and deli sandwiches at lunch. She will also have a rotating “specialty menu” which will change based on the popularity of certain items.

The specialty menu will include things like “The Mac and Cheesesteak” which, she explained, is exactly as it sounds, a cheesesteak sandwich smothered with macaroni and cheese. She also envisions a sandwich called “The Freshmen Fifteen,” which will be a sandwich stuffed with items like mozzarella sticks, French fries and chicken.

Having worked at the UDairy Creamery for over a year, Tona said she often over hears patrons complain about the lack of food options on the south Newark campus and that they usually order something from Main Street. Tona said that this gets pricey, as a ten-dollar order can quickly turn into a fifteen-dollar order with tip and a delivery charge. “I’m hoping that people will prefer to walk an extra 5 minutes to get a sandwich than pay an extra 5 dollars for delivery,” said Tona.

With her soft opening scheduled for mid-August, Tona said that she plans to open for business in September, with a grand opening taking place when all the students have returned. She is planning on being open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 3 or 4 p.m. and on weekends for special occasions, like football games and other sporting events.

For more information on “I Don’t Give a Fork,” visit the website or Facebook page.

To read about other UDSeed Projects, check out the article on UDaily.

Article by Adam Thomas

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