Anna Caterinicchia is a self-described food lover who is detailed, conscientious leader who stepped away from her white collar job to begin a career in the mobile food industry. When she was younger she knew she wanted to own a hot dog stand in Chicago and to advance this dream, she enrolled in Vienna Beef’s: Hot Dog University to take a course in how to start and operate her very own hot dog empire.
While sitting in class the topic of food trucks continued to come up and according to Caterinicchia, “in my gut I thought it was going to be a great fun and new food adventure for Chicago, so I decided to open a truck rather than a hot dog stand.”
With her diploma in hand she began her journey into the food truck world by devising a concept that revolved around homemade Italian meatballs…and the Getta Polpetta truck was born.
“After deciding on doing a meatball food truck, my childhood friend Jenn, her daughters and I were brainstorming about names. Her youngest takes Italian and I asked her how to say “meatball” in Italian. “It’s “polpetta” she responded– we kept saying it and a few other words and out came “gotta getta polpetta” and it stuck. We all kept envisioning this Italian character with a megaphone yelling “gotta getta polpetta”….we laughed and like I said it stuck.”
It took Caterinicchia about 4 months to get everything in order before she was ready to hit the streets of Chicago. “When the truck and wrap were completed – I couldn’t believe everything we talked about became a reality and I was a real food truck owner!”
The Getta Polpetta food truck serves traditional homemade Italian meatballs based on her mother’s recipe (they also have a vegetarian option). The average price for her sandwiches range from 6 to 8 dollars. In the future she plans to also provide her customers with additional options such as a meatball lasagna and a fried dough desert.
The biggest obstacle or difficulty she has found as a food truck owner is, “it seems to be an all day job, not just a lunch time or dinner time outing.” She also mentioned that it is very difficult to sell the volume of sandwiches needed to be successful with the archaic city restrictions Chicago has in place and the difficulty in finding parking that meets the current food truck requirements (no closer than 200 feet from a business that sells food).
When asked what advice she would give to aspiring chefs looking to enter the mobile food industry Caterinicchia replied, “You definitely need to work on a truck and understand what is involved from beginning to end.”
The Getta Polpetta Truck can be found in the Chicagoland area.
The “Polpetta Panino” (meatball sandwich): A fantastic meatball sandwich with a sweet red sauce. You have the option of 1 – 3 meatballs depending on how hungry you are.
What their fans have said:
“Loved absolutely everything about the truck. They stopped by Finch’s Beer Co. during our brewery tour, to provide some munchies for the crowd. They were total sweethearts, and the food rocked. I love meatballs, and theirs are top notch!” - Brett N. – Chicago, IL