Home Off the Wire Former Menlo Park Police Chief and Wife Start Food Truck Business

Former Menlo Park Police Chief and Wife Start Food Truck Business

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Just as Bruce Goitia was getting ready to retire from his job as Menlo Park police chief last June, his wife Kathleen Jensen was about to embark on a new career.

Jensen, a part-time personal chef and caterer, had set her sights on the latest culinary craze — food trucks that dish up gourmet cuisine.

“I started talking about it and little by little the idea started to pull together,” she said. “But everyone, Bruce included, laughed at me.”

“I was like, ‘Yeah right, you’ve got to be kidding me,’ ” Goitia said. “My experience had been with the fly-by-night quick stop.”

It wasn’t until Jensen showed Goitia a story in Gourmet magazine celebrating mobile vendors that he understood the allure.

“People lined up for an hour and a half to get a sandwich or different kinds of ethnic foods,” he said.

So much for retirement. The couple purchased a former American Red Cross vehicle, which they converted into a mobile kitchen at a cost of about $19,000. A new food truck would have cost $200,000 to $250,000, according to Goitia.

Another $10,000 went into cleaning up the vehicle, fixing mechanical problems and making mandated health code improvements.

The couple’s food truck business, Butterscotch On the Go, made its debut at an event in Palo Alto in December. The next month it began paying lunch-hour visits to office buildings in Menlo Park.

Butterscotch’s specialty is sandwiches — thick slices of roast beef, grilled chicken or salami piled between slices of freshly baked bread, and finished with caramelized onions, homemade aioli or roasted tomatoes.

“I just love sandwiches made out of good things,” Jensen said. Butterscotch also serves soups and salads.

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