Sloppy Mama's truck may have caught fire, but that isn't stopping the food truck from soldiering on — they're even opening a cafe in Chantilly later this week.
"Everybody is ok, which is the most important thing," said owner Joe Neuman. The truck, though, has been totaled; the front end completely melted. The company doesn't know the exact cause of the fire yet because they're waiting on their insurance adjuster, who is behind schedule.
Once Sloppy Mama's gets word from the inspector, the popular food truck can secure financing to rebuild. One piece of good news: the company they've lined up has agreed to rush the order, so that a new truck could be built in about four weeks.
The company mostly has private events scheduled for the next few weeks, so they're just setting up a smoker rather than using a truck to fulfill those obligations. "We're lucky in that sense that we can still sell; other trucks would be out of business," he said.
The fire still will cost the company money, though. The truck had been paid off, and there are incidentals associated with the fire, like equipment and coolers, as well as licensing for the new truck. Neuman plans to set up a crowdfunding campaign to help recover some of the costs, and will hold a benefit event as well (the details are still being ironed out). "The whole thing is more annoying than anything else," he said.
In the meantime, they're working to open Sloppy Mama's Cafe in Chantilly this Wednesday. The cafe will operate for limited hours during lunch time at first, and offer items beyond barbecue. "It's an office cafe so people don't want to eat barbecue every day," Neuman said. "Let me rephrase that; people may want to eat barbecue every day but don't want the weight gain that would happen [if they did]."