On the Comfort Food Deliciousness Scale, gooey cheeses between buttery grilled bread rank as a 10/10. Entrepreneurs Darlene Andersen and Diana Hall knew this when they started their Stamford-based Melt Mobile gourmet grilled cheese truck in March of 2012. The duo was even featured on Food Network’s reality show 3 Days to Open with Bobby Flay, which documented the grueling task of launching their gourmet grilled cheese food truck business. The magazine was fortunate to have a lunchtime visit from Melt Mobile; we talked with Andersen and Hall about their business, including the recent news that they’re franchising.
You position Melt Mobile as a “gourmet food truck.” What makes it so?
We call ourselves “gourmet” because we like to think we serve an elevated version of the classic grilled cheese sandwich using the best imported and domestic cheeses, fresh produce, artisanal bread, and quality Angus beef. We’ve also put everything you can possibly imagine on our grilled cheese—braised short ribs, duck confit, osso buco, jumbo lump crab cakes, shrimp, clams, truffles.
What was your truck originally used for?
We bought both trucks from the White Plains Police Department. Our first truck was a paddy wagon, and our second truck was a surveillance van.
What sort of bread do you use?
Amazing artisanal bread from Stamford-based Beldotti Bakery. They make an assortment of delicious bread for us. We use country white, Italian Tuscan, seven-grain, challah, cranberry pecan, raisin walnut, sourdough, cracked wheat, and Kalamata olive. The variety they offer inspires me to come up with some interesting combinations.
Is there anything you tried to stuff in a grilled cheese as a new menu item and it just didn’t work?
My most unsuccessful grilled cheese was the chicken ’n waffle melt! I tried to make a grilled cheese out of this popular food trend and it just didn’t want to come together. The cheese wouldn’t melt and the waffles fell apart. It tasted great but you needed to eat it with a knife and fork.
Westchester Magazine staff gather around the Melt Mobile to indulge in some melty, gooey goodness.
The Umbrella Club, a local charitable organization devoted to helping families in need, gets 2 percent of Melt Mobile’s proceeds. How did it come to picking that specific charity?
We chose to work with Umbrella Club because they are a Stamford-based organization and the money they raise goes directly to people within our community.
The latest news for Melt Mobile is it’s now offering franchising opportunities. What is the biggest challenge to franchising?
The biggest challenge is that we are essentially attempting something that hasn’t been done by many food trucks. We are the first food truck franchise opportunity offered in Connecticut. The franchising community is not exactly sure of how to market a food truck franchise and we are figuring it out together.
Where can one find a Melt Mobile Truck?
Our daily locations and specials are posted on social media as well as on our website.