You know that feeling when you look out your service window and realize there’s something more? Best friends Corey Simmons and Ramone Dickerson, the owners of the 2 Fat 2 Fly Stuffed Wing food truck, felt that way as they searched for another parking space in their home of Columbia, South Carolina.
A couple of years earlier, Eat St. paid them a visit during Season 2. Asked how they prepared for such an occasion, both joked, “No different than any other night. Maybe a little more sleep than usual.” They were excited and had no idea what to expect. The experience was fantastic and gave them additional recognition, but ultimately didn’t translate into higher sales.
Lynne Kirby, Executive Vice President of Programming of Paperny Entertainment in New York “fell in love” with Ramone and Corey. Honestly, it’s difficult not to. The two kept in touch since the Eat St. filming looking for the right opportunity to work together again. Wingmen was created. Wingmen follows these two culinary creative yet not-so-savvy businessmen through their journey to build 2 Fat 2 Fly into a household name.
Their stuffed wings create new fans with every bite. Many have asked about their stuffing method, myself included. This magical stuffing method remains in the confines of their secret Willy Wonka-style factory, although they claim they MIGHT unlock this secret if the show is picked up for a full season. I imagine that Oprah has that sort of power… and we really want to see their “BBQ sauce pond!”
Spending more than a few minutes with Ramone and Corey will bring you to tears with laughter. “How can you not fall in love with them?” said Kirby. We couldn’t agree more. You end up rooting for this stuffed-wing flavor-making team to go big!
These guys are always together. I asked how they handle everyday conflicts. Corey replied, “When we disagree, we take time to hear each other out. We continue to learn about each other every day.” Ramone concurred, “Arguing is a lost art form. Most of the time pride gets in the way of seeing each other’s side.” Corey chimed in, “It’s hard to stay mad at someone that makes delicious butter pecan ice cream.” You can’t really argue with that.
The exclusive sneak peek of Wingmen on the OWN site suggests they’re not business-savvy, which is not uncommon for first-time food truck owners. Wingmen shows “our lives, our happiness, and our sadness. It’s all of it. On and off the truck,” explained Ramone. This is not a “business rescue” or “investor” type show. There aren’t any guest experts or surprise cash offerings. It’ll be the “adventures” of Corey and Ramone as they make decisions that will change and expand their fledgling business. “We’re still stumbling through solving the biggest questions of ‘how,’” said Corey.
When they’re not in the truck, which is not often, you can find Ramone teaching cooking classes at Charleston Cooks. He’s met many accomplished chefs… although none of them have created THE stuffed wing! Sometimes you’ll find Ramone splurging on a new guitar while Corey sings along. One night, after a large event they even decided to “get the band back together” and got a bunch of equipment and jammed. Sometimes they’ll visit clubs while on the road with Sean and Joey, who have been with them since the beginning. “We take care of truck demand, then we run wild,” joked Ramone.
When asked WHY these guys, Kirby replied that they represent the “great American dream.” Corey and Ramone started this venture with a crazy culinary idea believing, like so many entrepreneurs, they will make it big. It’s been a few years and they’re ready to take their business to the next level. They are thinking franchises, fleets of trucks, and their signature stuffed wings in every grocer. Kirby wanted to share their inspiring story. “They’re at a crossroads in their business and we want to share their experience – the good, bad and everything in between. You’ll feel good about rooting for them,” commented Kirby.
Wingmen is a new kind of food truck show. It’ll show you how two guys with a dream of world wing domination stumble through the trappings of business expansion without outside help. It’s just them, their culinary spirit of adventure and the challenges all business owners face.
Tune in to Wingmen on the Oprah Winfrey Network this Saturday, August 16 at 10pm/9c.
Be sure to join us on Twitter as we LIVE tweet during the show. Track us down @FoodTruckChat or join the conversation with #foodtruckchat.