Spanky’s employee Austin Tegtmeier manages the food truck. Tegtmeier said that first event “was nerve-wracking, to say the least.”
“We had no idea what to expect,” Tegtmeier said. “It turned out better than we could have ever expected. Great weather, awesome location and wonderful customers who came out to support us.”
“Managing something under the Spanky’s brand and for Josh is an honor,” Austin Tegtmeier said about running the new food truck: Spanky’s Stone Hearth – Inspired Street Eats. “To help uphold the name he has built is something that humbles me, motivates me and also has great rewards.” (Submitted photo)
“We were blown away by the support,” Josh Hanson said in an email to the Tribune. “We are so grateful to Seven Sister’s Spirits for welcoming us into their parking lot for our inaugural weekend.”
Hanson, owner of Spanky’s and the food truck, decided to add the truck in 2019 after collaborating with his team, as they are “always looking for ways to reach more customers” and “stay current and relevant,” he said. They bought the truck in the winter and picked the “Inspired Street Eats” name to combine the truck business and restaurant business, he said.
But, Hanson’s 3-year-old son quickly renamed it.
“When we first purchased the truck, our oldest son, Huck, began calling it ‘foodie.'” Hanson said. “We all just sort of adapted that as the truck’s nickname. Not just because it’s cute when a 3-year-old names something, but also because it represents who (we) are — passionate about food!”
For the first weekend, Foodie featured BBQ ribs and walleye sandwiches, plus side options and a dessert. Hanson plans to keep some classic favorites like that, but will “switch things up” and create new food too. Experimenting with the food is something Tegtmeier will get to do and is excited about as it’s one of his passions.
“His exceptional culinary skills that will surely shine through on the dishes he serves up,” Hanson said.
Spanky’s Stone Hearth owner Josh Hanson says the restaurant has a long and storied history in the lakes area, having gone through many different owners and name changes since it first opened as The Stone Hearth in 1946. That history is detailed in the new book, Spanky’s Stone Hearth: Family – Food – Tradition,” which was published in December and has already sold about 600 copies, according to Hanson.
That skill and his passion for food are two of the reasons that Hanson asked Tegtmeier to manage the truck, he said. Tegtmeier also “has great energy” and “the right combination of motivation and experience,” Hanson said. Tegtmeier has worked at Spanky’s for seven years, starting at 15 years old.
“The best part about working at Spanky’s is that every single day presents new challenges and opportunities,” Tegtmeier said.
When Hanson asked him about the food truck opportunity, Tegtmeier hesitated at first, but later realized he “couldn’t say no to.”
“To take Spanky’s customer service and the quality of food we offer to the ‘streets’ was something I couldn’t pass up,” Tegtmeier said, adding that he felt it would give him a chance to further his skills and talent.
He’ll be traveling with Foodie, taking the new creations to locations throughout the spring, summer, and “well into the fall,” Hanson said. They’re willing to travel, depending on the event or opportunity, and will offer catering services, he said.
“Bringing the classic favorites to different ‘streets’ this summer is something I’m really looking forward to,” Tegtmeier said. “I can’t wait to see what this summer has to bring.”
For more information on Spanky’s Stone Hearth – Inspired Street Eats, follow them on Instagram (@spankysstreeteats) or contact Spanky’s.
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