The Dirty Bird 815: Family-owned fried chicken food truck coming to Sycamore


SYCAMORE – In addition to planning their September wedding, engaged Sycamore couple Josh Smith and Abby Barringer are preparing for something else: the launch of their new food truck business, The Dirty Bird 815.

“We both work full time, but my dream has always been to own my own business,” Smith said. “We hope to become bigger and travel around a bit to breweries and events, selling close to home.”

Smith works as a welder and Barringer does accounting for a small business in Hampshire. In their free time the last two months, the couple and Barringer’s two kids, 10-year-old Carter and 3-year-old Darley, have been transforming a trailer into their family’s food truck.

The Dirty Bird 815 will announce on their Facebook page within a few weeks when they will have their grand opening.

Before choosing to start a food truck business, the couple explored starting a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

“We looked at some building locations, but rent and starting costs were pretty expensive,” Barringer said. “Food trucks are really trendy right now and cheaper for us to start.”

“I like that you can move the food truck somewhere else, so it’s not always in one location,” Smith said. “People can follow us on Facebook for locations, days and times.”

Smith had the idea for a food truck business after working for a chicken restaurant, where he learned the ins and outs of the food industry. He created his own chicken recipe and special dipping sauce he calls “Bird Sauce.”

“When we first started dating, he made me dinner and told me to try the chicken and sauce he made,” Barringer said. “The chicken was amazing, fried with light breading. It was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. And the Bird Sauce is sweet with a tang, not like ketchup, mustard or barbecue sauce, it has its own special taste.”

The food truck will sell baskets of chicken, sides, fried Oreos and Twinkies for dessert and water, soda and Capri Sun to drink. Baskets include fries, a drink and a cup of Bird Sauce. There will be a $2 upcharge for an upgraded side of onion rings or fried pickles, or additional sides can be purchased separately.

The Baby Bird Basket with three pieces of chicken costs $3, Mama Bird Basket with five pieces costs $8, Papa Bird Basket with seven pieces costs $10 and a Big Papa Bird Basket, with 10 pieces, double fries, two drinks and two cups of Bird Sauce, costs $15.

“We’ve had an outpouring of support from community members online, and we are so excited to bring a new business to the area,” Barringer said. “We’re excited to be starting the business soon, and then people can get out of their houses for a little bit and try some delicious comfort food.”

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