Around lunchtime today KQED was abuzz about the new food truck pod that popped up around the corner on Bryant. I grabbed my Nikon and took a lunchtime photo op at The Mission Dispatch Launch Party.
I had the opportunity to meet Bob Wilms, Development Director of The New Black and Mission Dispatch at the event and he shared the story behind the new cool lunch spot.
Can you please share the story behind Mission Dispatch — what is your new business about and how did this food truck pod become part of the venture?
The NWBLK (New Black) is an applied arts and contemporary furniture gallery that gives meaning to the objects of the 21st Century through engaging the public in the narrative of process, materiality and production. Think Donald Judd and Marfa, Texas as a reference point.
It’s also a beast of an endeavor, a 9,500 sq ft space (at the 1999 Bryant Street building, the Old City Sign Shop) and we have Steven Miller Design Studio’s offices, Figure Plant Fabrication, and an architect or two… desks, people designing and working, and this refined, and carefully edited gallery with work from people like Joe Ducet, Council, Matthias Pliessnig, that is slated to open in mid-September.
Origins of Dispatch:
The Mission Dispatch was born out of a good deal of trial and error in finding the right tenor of businesses that we wanted to populate our parking lot and the long building that shares the wall with KQED.
We hope to put a bakery and coffee take-out thing in the front, and from there we started to look at some makers, jewelers, craftsmen, and furniture designers to produce, distribute, and sell the work from the space. Eventually, we started seeing a cultural nexus that would serve as a confluence of ideas and innovation, all the while building community.
Matt Cohen from OTG was an early supporter of our project, and saw the potential for food trucks to work well in the space. He eventually got too busy, and I got anxious and decided to corral the trucks and circle the wagons myself.
Jim Angelus from Bacon Bacon was an early supporter of food truck service, and helped rally a bunch of trucks. I got some help from friends, and of course, my business partners, Steven Miller, David Fredrickson, and our staff were instrumental in pushing it off the ledge.
Can you talk about what your plans are for this space?
The plan is to build the lunch service over the next three weeks, and roll out some special events like Friday evening after work beer and wine, and Saturday pop up brunches etc.
We have two different trucks daily Mon-Fri 11am-2pm… Chairman is in tomorrow and on Thursday we’re launching the Old World Food Truck which I expect to be awesome. People can follow us on Twitter @MissionDispatch, and they’ll get schedule updates as I sit at the edge of my bed in the morning wondering how I got there and where I’m going to go.
What will your new business contribute to the surrounding community?
Our ambitions with the space are pretty modest, and very much focused in creating a space to nourish people with food, fun, the outdoors, and a chance to hang out and connect.
Based on the first day, I’m happy with where it’s going. As far as the culinary options in the neighborhood, I’d like to see the envelope pushed, and all the great restaurants in the area continue to innovate.
What plans do you have for collaborating with Off the Grid?
There are no plans with Off the Grid at the moment, but Matt’s the bomb, a real genuine dude, so if we’re lucky something good will happen with them…Saturdays are calling.
How did you enlist the various food trucks that will be featured at Mission Dispatch?
I went on websites and blew a bunch of email smoke up truck drivers vents, and lucky for us, they are all very nice people, and were enthusiastic to give us a shot.
What is your personal relationship to food and the food community?
My gramps and his three Greek “cousins” had 17 bars in San Francisco between 1945 when the war ended and the late 60s, mostly near where the Moscone Center is now. They eventually migrated to the South Bay after George Christopher booted them out, and opened restaurants down there. I grew up in restaurants, and it was always my favorite place to be. My career and interests diverged into design, but I enjoy playing host to people…nothing better.