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Johnson's back on the road with treats

Cheryl Johnson brought her Tastee Treatz refreshments truck to the Ellsworth Cheese Curd Festival last month. This is the second time Johnson has owned a mobile concession stand and operated it at area events. (Herald photo by Bill Kirk)

The wheels just keep on turning for Cheryl Johnson.

Johnson, who thought up the former Rock N’ Roll Café now known as Pop’s Malt Shop in Ellsworth’s west business district, has had another food service idea. Although it’s not a first for her, she hopes to make it her best.

Tastee Treatz is a refreshments truck Johnson is taking to area events this summer. She said Thursday she got the former United Parcel Service truck last November.

“We went over to Maple Grove, Minn., to get it,” she said, referring to herself and husband Kerry, who owns the new business with her.

Her spouse converted the vehicle for its latest purpose, Johnson said, installing stainless steel sinks and counters, plus regulation-satisfying equipment such as a double-gas oven, full-size freezer and refrigerator, and more. It’s licensed in both Wisconsin and Minnesota, with licenses subject to yearly renewal and the stand to annual inspections.

The vehicle’s exterior was repainted a bright pink by Joshua Boles of Rowdy Restoration, she said, while the logos and lettering were applied by Jill Sears of Designs by Jill. Her mate handled the inside renovation.

The menu includes loaded baked potatoes, homemade cheesecakes, banana cream pies and brownie delights, Johnson said. She prepares some aspects in advance of her summer appearances, such as graham cracker crusts, but everything related to the business must be made in the mobile stand because that’s where she has her licensed kitchen.

“It’s hit and miss,” she said about how much food to make for each destination, admitting she has a feel for the amounts which will sell in certain places and knows to have plenty on hand for the larger ones.

For more please read the July 2 print version of the Herald. 

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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