WASHINGTON — Food trucks travel the DMV bringing you tastes from around the world.
But, the pandemic has forced food trucks to shift their gears.
And, they’re getting some help thanks to Goodfynd, an app powered by three friends with a simple mission.
Our Impact Team found out the app is an idea served up just in time.
Most days you’d find the colorful Lattimore’s Gourmet Funnel Cake truck parked downtown near the Mall, eyelashes and all, ready for those in search of sweet surrender.
Foster Asked, "What are we looking at?
Iris Lattimore replied, “This right here is the Oreo Blast funnel cake. It’s a funnel cake with crumbled Oreos and whipped cream drizzled with chocolate. And, this right here are your fried Oreos.”
The smell alone would lure you to taste Iris Lattimore’s family recipe.
She said, “We take our batter and it goes into a 3 inch ring, no specific design.”
The pandemic nearly cost this purveyor of gourmet funnel cakes, fried Oreos and strawberry lemonade her business.
Lattimore said, “Before COVID we were busy every single day. I mean, every day. No weekends off or anything like that. But our business has gone down 75 percent.”
Enter GoodFynd. It’s an app that helps Lattimore’s and hundreds of other food trucks take their food “to go” and to you.
“We connect you to food trucks similar to other ordering apps. And, you can bring food trucks to where you live or work as well.”
The idea started with three friends at Virginia Tech. They wanted to make it easier and quicker to get your food and find great menus.
The now three-year-old app service makes the whole experience hassle free. No long lines or waits.
The founders say it was an easy sell, during a pandemic.
“At the point that you show up to pick up your funnel cake, it’s ready for you.”
On Goodfynd there are hundreds of trucks across the DMV.
It’s a small business helping hundreds of other small businesses make daily sales, with technology building connections.
Sofie Abdulrazaaq is one the founders. She said, “80% of food truck owners are diverse. So they come from a variety of diverse backgrounds, which means their cuisine is as diverse as they are. And they’re local chefs doing food trucks. They’re your neighbors.”
Without these neighbors, this truck may not have survived a long, hard year.
In an industry that is mostly male owned, Lattimore says she’s committed to going the distance to keep going to encourage other women to make their own mark on the food truck space.
She said, “I am a survivor. I’m a woman-owned business. It’s just me and my partner, Felicia. Most people are surprised. They say, well who is Lattimore’s? And they point to me and they say "That's Ms. Lattimore?” They’re so excited to see a woman of color and me standing there.”
In the spirit of neighbors helping neighbors, our Impact Team went back to Lattimore's to make sure she had what she needed to keep rolling.
Foster said, "I want you to meet somebody. This is John Pierce he is with a group called the Invisible Hand Foundation.
Pierce said, “We help people over obstacles that are blocking a constructive path and Lesli and her team told us that Covid has been quite the obstacle the progress of your business over the last year so we wanted to give you a little something to give you a boost. So we have a check for you."
Lattimore replied, "Oh my gosh, I wish I could hug you. Thank you. Thank you guys so much. Oh my gosh I can buy some new tires, we have been changing them plugging them and there are 6 of them at $500 a piece so this will definitely go towards the tires. Thank you so much. I’m going to cry!"
The Invisible Hand Foundation hopes copycats will define their own mission and give back to the community anonymously.
Goodfynd is helping Lattimore’s find weekend movie nights and events at local apartment complexes to serve up their treats.
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