Boston is no stranger to food trucks — the city has served grilled cheese sandwiches, tacos, and cupcakes on wheels for quite a while. Now we can add dog food to the menu.
Last Sunday Chef Michael’s, Nestle Purina’s St. Louis-based dog food company, rolled out a food truck for dogs in the South End with the goal of giving man’s best friend the chance to partake in the popular ritual. About a dozen Chef Michael’s employees handed out free samples of its new line of dog food called Carvery Creations.
Jeff Gabel, 23, got a sample of the beef short rib for his 2-year-old snorkie named Milly. “She seemed to like it,” he said. “I had to feed her with a fork.”
Chef Michael’s won’t be a fixture on the Boston food scene. It was just here for a day, serving about 100 dogs at SoWa Open Market, a weekly outdoor bazaar held in the South End. While Nestle Purina plans to send the truck to different cities across the nation (depending on where its Facebook fans want to see it), the company has no plans to launch a separate business that will charge for meals on the go.
“It’s not a channel we’re looking at pursuing right now,” said Niky Roberts, a brand representative for Nestle Purina.
‘There is something to be said about mobile dog food. You don’t have to bundle it up for your dog. ’
But it’s not far fetched. Gabel, who works full time and only gets to take his dog out on the weekends, said he would buy meals from a dog food truck because it’s easier than having to pack her a snack.
“There is something to be said about mobile dog food,” he said. “You don’t have to bundle it up for your dog if you’re out for multiple hours.”
Deb Gregg-Suchman, co-owner of South End dog bakery Polka Dog, said a food truck for dogs would probably work if it served treats rather than meals. That’s because dogs have sensitive stomachs, and if they eat meals they’re not used to, it could upset their bellies.
Gregg-Suchman also cautioned against food trucks being a primary source of nourishment because the trucks tend to change locations daily.
“You want to be able to go to a place any day of the week and get your dog food,” she said. “Not just on Tuesdays.”
Boston, according to a city spokeswoman, has more than two dozen food trucks. One of these is Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese, among three food trucks that partnered with Chef Michael’s SoWa debut. Roxy’s owner James DiSabatino said dog food on wheels might be a good idea in theory, but in practice it doesn’t reach a large demographic.
“It’s a very niche market. I don’t think I’d want to do it,” said DiSabatino. “I don’t think I’m bold enough for something like that.”