Maryam Mahboob ’18 wants to end the late-night hunger of Middlebury College students by creating a Macaroni & Choose Truck, or MAC Truck for short. Its menu would be centered around mac and cheese, but it would provide its customers with a vast choice of toppings (hence the name Macaroni and Choose!). The MAC Truck would be the first macaroni and cheese food truck in Vermont.
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Dollars Raised: 118%
Deadline: Jan 28, 2016
Total needed: $2,000
My initial idea for the MAC Truck began during a MiddCORE design-thinking workshop at Lake Tahoe. The conductor of the workshop asked us to pair up and invent a product that could make our partner’s favorite food more enjoyable. I paired with James Wang, a football player, whose favorite food is mac & cheese.
Because empathizing is a big component of design-thinking, I asked James about any good or bad experiences he’s had with his favorite food. He described one bad experience when he had ordered honey mustard chicken mac and cheese but the sauce drizzled into the cheese. Unfortunately for him, it was an awful, unappetizing mess. A few questions later, however, I realized that James’ misfortune represented a larger need: quality condiments and toppings produced especially for mac and cheese (like honey mustard chicken!). I knew then that I wanted to start a mac and cheese company that provided its customers with a large choice of delicious toppings.
Following my realization I was immediately overrun by various questions: How do people like to consume their mac and cheese? Which toppings work better than others? My MiddCORE mentor, Christal Brown, provided simple but significant guidance: “Start at home.” So that’s what I did! I polled 130 people who affiliated with Middlebury College with the question, “What do you think about an all-night mac & cheese truck that delivered?” The responses were overwhelmingly supportive. Combined with Middlebury’s lack of late night dining options, this support encouraged me to pursue creating a late night macaroni and cheese food truck.
Since then, I have tested the concept of a MAC Truck on various occasions, receiving input from dozens of my peers to improve my ideas and recipes. Additionally, I have continued to research all the different aspects of bringing Vermont’s first mac and cheese food truck to the Middlebury campus. I’ve been talking to food truck owners and restaurant owners alike, members of the Middlebury community, insurance agents and Cabot Cheese. All the pieces are in place!
Pastas: regular (non-organic), organic whole wheat, and organic gluten free
Mac & Cheese Toppings (mostly organic/local): chives, maple syrup, ranch, bell peppers, blueberries, pizza sauce, corn, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, dorrito pieces, chocolate chips, buffalo sauce, apple bits, bread crumbs, Sriracha, chocolate sauce, peas, mustard, corn, bbq Sauce, lemon juice, tuna, bacon bits, and fried chicken
Beverages: organic juices, organic hot chocolate, local hot apple cider, organic coffee, and organic tea
Gifts from this MiddSTART project will support the MAC Truck in a variety of ways: