Summary List Placement
Created in 2017 by a husband-and-wife team, Ron and Solo, this food truck is dedicated to serving dogs dishes that look like what people might order.
Insider spoke with Ron and Solo to learn more about what it’s really like running a food truck for canines.
The truck serves dog-friendly beer, fries, and burgers
Some of Woofbowl’s bestselling items include burgers, fries, and ice-cream doughnuts. They’re made with ingredients that owners are familiar with and would probably eat, like grass-fed beef, organic vegetables, goat’s milk, and sweet potatoes.
The truck also offers monthly specials, such as tiny tacos and bowls of pho for dogs.
The couple said a lot of customers were most excited by the presentation of the food.
“The screeches, the ‘Oh my God,’ the ‘Are you kidding me?’ The reactions are the best,” Ron said. “Because you can hear when people walk by the truck and when they see the actual food — eeks, screams, it’s awesome.”
One of the truck’s specialty items is a dog-safe nonalcoholic beer, Woofbowl’s Woofbrew Lite, served in tiny red cups. Ron said Woofbrew has become so popular that local breweries have begun ordering cases of it to serve pets at their establishments.
He also said it was one of the most fun menu items to design. Solo makes it using broth.
Solo’s CBD-infused dog treats, Munchies, have become popular during the coronavirus pandemic as people try to keep their pets calm. Early research has suggested that CBD could help dogs manage anxiety and pain.
Ron and Solo often deal with people mistaking Woofbowl for a food truck for them
Despite the truck’s French-bulldog logo, bone-print decor, and “fast food doggie style” branding, a lot of people misunderstand its purpose.
“Some people think it’s an ice-cream truck,” Solo told Insider. “You’ll see once they see the sign that says ‘food truck for dogs’ they sort of backtrack, like, ‘Hold on, what?'”
Ron said these interactions could be “hilarious,” since sometimes people order items without realizing they’re made for dogs.
“Our very first day out, a mom thought it was an ice-cream truck for humans. So she ordered our ice-cream doughnut and handed it to her kids,” Solo recalled. “They looked up so sad. It finally clicked, and she just laughed her butt off.”
Ron said they try to “play along with it” and joke with confused customers.
“I tell them, ‘We got you, bro. Don’t know if it’s going to fit your palate, but here you go,'” he said. “It’s all in good fun. We’re having a great time.”
The couple said customers had booked the truck to celebrate special events like “gotcha day” parties for newly adopted pets, puppy showers, dog birthdays, and even “bark” mitzvahs.
The idea for the truck was born of Solo’s passion for canine nutrition and Ron’s dedication to his support animals
Ron, a veteran, said he originally got his French bulldogs, Dino and Latto, to help him manage his post-traumatic stress disorder.
When Dino and Latto began experiencing digestive issues and excessive shedding, Solo started feeding them raw, homemade food and immediately saw improvements. She shared her pet-food knowledge with friends, and Ron suggested they turn Solo’s passion for canine nutrition and his dedication to his support animals into a business venture.
Ron said that running Woofbowl “has been somewhat life-saving” for him.
“It’s not good for people with PTSD to be alone, so having this truck and that interaction with dogs and people has made me feel healthier,” he said.
Ron said it also meant a lot to him that the truck is so special to their customers.
“We had a young girl, maybe 12 or 13, and her father brought her to our truck at a farmers market. He said, ‘You know, all my daughter wanted for her birthday was to come to your truck,'” Ron told Insider. “I got emotional after he said that. I just started welling up.”
Ron and Solo said they never dreamed Woofbowl would become as big as it’s gotten.
“Our whole mission is to give back to the community,” Solo said. “We don’t want to get super rich doing this, we just want to help out the community because they have helped us so much.”
Woofbowl operates in New York and New Jersey and sells merchandise online
Since the food is made fresh daily with no artificial preservatives, it’s not shelf-stable enough to ship. Those who want to support Woofbowl can purchase merchandise online — Woofbowl says all profits are donated to local rescues and charities.
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