Gigi Pascual, who studied business at LMU, launched The Buttermilk Truck, her gourmet food truck, in November 2009. Almost all of her menu items — pastries and other breakfast items — feature buttermilk as an ingredient. Chase down Gigi’s truck at buttermilktruck.com.
What did you imagine doing when you were a student?
I always imagined having my own café. I wanted my own bakery. That changed a little bit, with the economy being the way it is. That’s how the food truck came about.
Why a truck? Why not open a restaurant?
A restaurant is more expensive than a truck. You also have to build out the restaurant and create the ambiance. That can cost a lot. In this economy, people are looking for something that is cheap and fast, and the truck is something that goes to its customers. Also, it’s kind of a cool thing for people to chase the truck around and get quality food at a very decent price.
How did you come up with the idea of making pastry on a food truck?
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I did a lot of research on breakfast itself and why people are missing out on breakfast. It was mainly because they’re in a rush to get to work. So I thought I could serve breakfast at different office buildings and also on weekends and late at night, when people really crave breakfast.
Why do people crave breakfast at night?
I think people crave breakfast during the night because they aren’t able to have it during the day. It’s one of those things that they skip out on. That was a market that I saw available.
Does L.A. have the most gourmet trucks?
I traveled to New York and Seattle to check out their trucks as part of my research. We do have the most gourmet trucks in Los Angeles, by far.
Why are gourmet trucks so popular in L.A.?
Street food has been a part of L.A. culture for years. Now, owners are trying to bring a gourmet twist to street food. People are intrigued by it. They enjoy chasing a truck around, and they enjoy eating on the sidewalk. Now that the weather is getting nice, people like hanging out with friends on the street and trying different foods.
What is the future for a food truck business? A fleet of trucks?
I would like to have another truck, maybe just one more, to cover more areas in Los Angeles and possibly Orange County. However, in the future, I do want my own sit-down place, a small place with a café theme and just 30 seats. I do love breakfast, so it will probably be a breakfast place as well.
Any idea what you would call it?
Buttermilk has done so well that I would just use the same name and reap the success that the truck has given me.