The business: Duck Duck Pig
What they're packin': Gourmet takes on classic sandwiches all featuring either duck or pork. This means everything from a pork belly BLT to a pineapple jerk pulled pork with coleslaw.
The story: Ruggiero and Higginson are both fans of duck and pork and after checking out the other food truck menus from the Phoenix area, settled on the concept they thought would stand out the most. Pork? Ok, we get it. But duck? Hmmm. Ruggiero thinks its safe to say that once the people get a taste, they'll like what they get. By using duck in recognizable dishes, they're hoping people will be open to trying something new.
Where'd you get the name?
DR: We got together with some friends and threw ideas back and forth. We were playing on Google and saw something come up for "duck, duck, goose" and thought, "Hey, why don't we do something with that?" We also considered, "What the duck?" We wanted it to be kind of silly.
LC: We were probably pushing it back and forth for about a month before we decided. Some people got it, some people didn't but we decided to run with it and we kind of haven't looked back because the more people we tell the more people are amused. We know we're a food truck, and it's hard to get people to take you seriously so we were not trying to be too serious.
Culinary background: Ruggerio, a graduate of the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, worked at BLT Prime in New York before returning back to the Valley to work at Zinc Bistro. Most recently he was a sous chef at Wildfish in Scottsdale where he met Lacey. Higginson's got a business degree from ASU and will be the front of the house for Ruggiero's culinary creations.
Have you had any issues getting it off the ground? DR: Having a food truck is way different than having a restaurant where you have one, single city to get licensing through. Because you're mobile, you're trying to go to every single city in Maricopa County and get licenses and everything. Really the hardest part of getting everything going is getting the truck built because its not such a huge thing here yet so there are very limited resources to build trucks. LH: The biggest thing we've learned is that nobody cares about your business as much as you do. It's been a good lesson for us going into business to learn to be able to manage our time, so it's frustrating but I think we've learned a lot of good lessons.
Are you worried about how people will take to the truck?
LH: I am. Only because when we bring up the concept the first thing people say is "roach coach" and I don't want people to associate us with the roach coaches of the past because those are perceived as being dirty and serving only basic foods. We want to change people's concept. We want them to understand that we are a fully equipped kitchen and we go through all the same health inspections as normal kitchens. So not only is the product that you're getting really, really good, it's the same quality that you'd find in a restaurant.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.