Komrades food truck finding friends after generator theft
GoFundMe campaign is underway
April 14, 2017
Last summer Alexander Schenck — with the help of his wife, local singer and songwriter Robyn Cage — embarked on a lifelong dream.
He opened a new food truck, Komrades, and began serving döners, which are essentially German gyros.
Komrades — which used a generator to run two refrigerators, a spit roaster, a flat top griddle, two burners and a steam table — was a regular at events throughout the Wasatch Back and in Salt Lake City.
One night last fall, someone stole the generator from the food truck that was parked in a gated commissary lot in South Salt Lake.
"We had a Honda generator that runs really quiet because when we are set up in different neighborhoods, we don't bother the residents," Schenck told The Park Record. "The generator was in a cage on the back of the food truck that had a swinging door and a lock. We didn't think that anyone would go to the trouble to break the lock, let alone enter the gated commissary area."
Still, someone broke the locks and took the $4,000 generator.
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"Luckily that one was covered by insurance and we were able to get a new one," Schenck said.
Schenck and electricians installed the new generator and went as far as welding it to the cage with metal bars.
"It was to the point that even we couldn't have removed it unless we cut it out," he said. "We thought that might do the trick."
It didn't. Three weeks ago, someone stole the new generator by sawing through the metal.
This time, the insurance company advised Schenck not to file a claim, since the raised rates would cost him more money in the long-term.
Schenck and Cage, instead, decided to buy two smaller generators one their own dime.
"That way we could easily move them inside, rather than have them outside where people can see them," Schenck said.
The cost of the smaller generators, along with installation fees, was $2,900 each.
"It was a nice financial hit for us after coming off a slow winter," Schenck said. "We didn't have a whole lot of capital and the cost did hurt us."
To help get some of their money back, the Komrades owner turned to crowd-sourcing and started a GoFundMe campaign two weeks ago.
The goal is to raise $5,000, and donations can be made by visiting https://www.gofundme.com/komrades.
"This is based on the assets we lost because we had to buy the replacement generators," Schenck said.
The money raised through the campaign will help Schenck repair the truck, add tables and chairs, expand the grill and add a computer to serve larger volumes of people in a more efficient way.
"People have responded well and we have a little more than $3,000, which is unbelievable," Schenck said. "It's nice that there are many good people out there, because it was a bad day for me when the generator got stolen. I didn't know what to do."
A majority of the donations came from other small-business owners.
"They know how hard it is to do what we do," Schenck said. "We really appreciate the community for rallying, because to see how many people are behind us was so encouraging."
Schenck is looking forward to getting the truck up and running again.
Komrades will be in Park City a few times this month, he said.
The truck will serve employees at Park City Mountain Resort during a closing party on Monday, April 17.
"We'll also be at Park City Brewery on April 23 for its two-year anniversary party and then again on April 28," he said. "I'm very grateful for all the support so we can continue serving Park City. I knew we lived in a special community and all that has happened has showed me that I was right."
To donate to Komrades food truck, visit https://www.gofundme.com/komrades.
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