Giving up the Wheel: Popular Food Truck Business Goes On the Block

by Gabe Saglie, Senior Editor, Travelzoo
published in the Santa Barbara News-Press on 10/12/15

Georgia’s Smokehouse, which in less than three years became one of Santa Barbara’s most high-profile food truck businesses, is up for sale.
“We have put a lot into the business and have a great reputation,” admits Chef Brian Parks, 42, who launched Georgia’s Smokehouse with his wife, Alissa, in March 2013.  “I think it deserves to continue, so we are looking for a buyer with the energy and enthusiasm to take it forward.”
The sale is being handled by Santa Barbara-based brokerage firm Compass First, which has listed Georgia’s Smokehouse for $190,000.  Claiming an annual cash flow of more than $100,000, the sale includes one fully-licensed mobile food truck (valued at $120,000), a calendar of pre-booked events and a commissary kitchen at Earl Warren Showgrounds.
For most of its run, Georgia’s Smokehouse has operated two trucks.  Their red-on-black façades, featuring a pony-tailed gal showing off a midriff and a flirty smile, have become a familiar sight on city streets.  And a busy weekly schedule has included daily lunch stops and myriad catered events, from weddings to festivals.
The food trucks’ success has hinged on Chef Parks, himself, who had previously shored up cred as the executive chef of the upscale Canary Hotel, downtown.  His Southern-inspired and affordable menus for Georgia’s include well-seasoned crowd pleasers that are slow-cooked over oak, hickory and Applewood: a Pulled Pork Sammy doused with a slaw of green cabbage and Granny Smith apples, a third-pound burger served with whiskey-caramelized onions and a Brisket Sandwich that’s smoked for 12 hours.  Most items, including several vegetarian options, feature the chef’s proprietary BBQ sauces and dry rubs.
The Parks’, who have a one-year-old son, say their decision to sell is personal, stemming from the strain of balancing business demands with family needs.  “I felt I needed to focus all my energy on the baby and on my husband and just didn’t have anything left for the business.” says Mrs. Parks, 35, who runs Georgia’s marketing and social media campaigns.
The business “has me spend way more time away from my family than I want to,” says Mr. Parks, who plans to leverage his fine dining, catering and hotel experience into a new professional venture soon.  “It just stopped being as much fun. I love the trucks, but I love my family more.”
Sale inquiries should be directed to Compass First’s Matt Olufs at 805-886-2919.


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