From from your morning coffee to your souvlaki for lunch, New York City street carts really are full, industrial kitchens. NY1's Jill Scott takes us to one factory to see how they are made in the following Queens Week report.
From ice cream and hotdog carts to coffee and hot food trucks, food vendors are as much a part of the city's landscape as the buildings around them, and while they roll around town serving up a true taste of New York, most people don't know many of them roll out of a factory in Queens.
"We make both industrial bicycles and mobile food vending equipment, which includes trucks, carts, trailers, anything to do with selling food on the go," says Jack Beller.
Beller is the Vice President of Worksman Trading Corporation, a company that has been peddling carts to the peddlers for decades. At their factory in Ozone Park, they make everything from your standard Nathan's hotdog cart to your complicated lunch truck, and building these babies really is a tall order.
Using quality stainless steel, the mobile kitchens are measured, cut, saudered and assembled.
No matter the size, most of the carts really are mobile industrial kitchens and that means they need to be equipped with gas lines, electricity and even plumbing.
Then of course there is the cooking equipment. Many of the units are custom fit with made to order char-broilers or flat grills that are designed for a specific type of food.
"A lot of people, when they think about carts and things, they think that it's a very simple operation, but in fact, very often, carts and mobile food vending are really smaller versions of restaurants and have all the associated components and systems in it just on a smaller, tighter scale," says Beller.
Worksman is actually made up of 2 companies that merged 11 years ago. The food vending part of the business was founded in the 40s on the Lower East Side, and they were the first to make the move from wooden carts to stainless steel.
The other side of the business has been around for more than a century, delivering a different kind of product. From Good Humor to D'Agastino, the upstairs part of the factory houses Worksman Cycles, where the wheels are always in motion to keep the Big Apple moving.
- Jill Scott