How about two food trucks to enrich a marriage? It's working.
FRAMINGHAM - Under the green awning of The Trolley Stop, Kathy Arnold picks up her weekly fix: a hot dog in a grilled bun, and a cookie. She heads back to her car and to her nursing job at a nearby assisted-living facility. "I go by here a lot," she says. "I really like the hot dogs." So does Dan Turnbull, a Wayland musician who orders two plain dogs. He also likes to support local businesses.
Plus the price is right. A Trolley Dog is $2. Add chips, your choice of soda or water, and a chocolate chip cookie - the combo - for an extra $1.25. The Trolley Stop is a quick-serve roadside food stand housed in an old-fashioned black and yellow trolley car. It sits in a parking lot near Route 30, not far from the Natick line. While hot dogs are the main draw, co-owner Diane Hyman also serves homemade soups, clam chowder, chili, sirloin angus hamburgers, mac and cheese, and warm chocolate chip cookies out of her small convection oven.
Not far down the road, her husband, Ed, operates a smaller trailer, Trolley Stop Jr., at the Building 19 parking lot in Natick. The pair left their respective careers (he was a social worker, she owned a day-care business) to open the two food trucks last year.
"We got married and we were just looking to do something together," says Ed. "It kind of came about by a fluke." The couple were dropping Diane's daughter off at a friend's when they spied the trolley trailer for sale. "We joked about it, then talked about it more seriously. We bought it a few weeks later." Now The Trolley Stop joins half a dozen mobile food units, which include ice cream trucks, in Framingham. Natick also has under a half dozen.
The pair really took to the work. "I'm out with people," says Diane. "I love this." All her customers are "hon." She whistles when moving around the 8-by-16-foot trailer that looks old-fashioned but is only a few years old. It's neat, clean, and organized so she can be ready for the noon rush. Outside, a flag waves, indicating she's open for business. A stuffed toy hot dog bounces in the wind. Inside there are two small refrigerators, a griddle, a microwave, a triple Crock-Pot holder, and a coffeemaker. She realized early on that in order to keep the coffee fresh, she would have to brew individual cups. Now she offers cappuccinos, lattes, and chai tea. "I'm starting to get that business," she says.
Customers from neighboring businesses like The
Diane makes such a popular Velveeta mac and cheese that area police officers come around for two orders apiece when it's on the menu. "If I run out, I hear about it!" she says.
The Trolley Stop, 160 Speen St. (near Route 30), Framingham, 508-308-2414. Trolley Stop Jr., 219 North Main St., Building 19 parking lot, Natick, 508-816-0610. Open Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-4 p.m.