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If you have driven along Route 322 through Honey Brook during the day you have likely seen K’s Kitchen - the bright white box truck fixed with yellow banners and menus accompanied by a little table, chair and shade umbrella, all situated on the roadside between Cupola Road and Birdell Road. Since April of this year, Elverson native Kay Peirce has been plying her trade of filling bellies with her freshly prepared and fair-priced breakfasts and lunches. Operating on weekdays from 6 a.m. – 2 p.m., K’s Kitchen came to fruition from Peirce’s love of cooking and an unforeseen career path change.
Growing up with parents who worked in the restaurant business, Peirce learned how to cook from her father – an international chef – and worked herself in restaurant management for a time. She had landed in the building material industry for some time, but when the economy caused that sector to face a serious downturn she took a severance package and decided to get back into the food business because she had never stopping cooking.
“My son’s friends come over the house and they loved my food – so I was always cooking up something for all of them. I like doing it, and people always said that I should try running my own restaurant. Everyone likes me food, so I thought why not give this a shot?”
She found the truck which would become K’s Kitchen in July of 2011 and together with her husband, built it out to become the food service on wheels which it is today. Having the truck made sense to her not only because of the ability to be mobile, but also because it is a lot less expensive than setting up “a brick and mortar operation”. Still, she attests that it was not cheap or easy to get K’s Kitchen started.
“It needed a lot of work just to get the truck running – tires, engine work, and then inspection. After that we did all of the work inside. First we had to put together drawings and make sure that everything would be up to the health standards. Then my husband did some metal fabrication to put in the shelves and a table for me, and then came the electricity and other installation work. It really was a lot of work.”
This involved adding a generator that powers the grill, hot water heater, refrigeration unit, bain-marie, and more inside of the truck. This allows Kay to pretty much do it all when it comes to putting together a menu. Plus the service window built into the side makes serving her customers (who can pay cash or credit/debit) easy and intimate.
“I have had a good response from my food, especially my biscuits and gravy. I have gotten to chit chat with people who stop by, and I have regulars from local businesses like American Stone and Brandywine Recycling and Disposal that I usually see several times a week.”
“We eat their basically every day,” said Richie, the office manager at American Stone. “I usually get her breakfast bowls. They are a big favorite of mine. It is really good food for the price. You really can’t beat getting breakfast for two people for about ten dollars. I absolutely recommend people stop in and try it – Kay’s food is good and she treats us good.”
Still early into her new venture, she knows that it is going to take a bit more time to get her menu just right. She just had her first venture out at Elverson Day, which she described as a success. Some of the folks she met there have turned up at her ‘regular’ spot in Honey Brook. Once settled in she will look to participate more in events at other locations, such as festivals. Yet for now, for sure, she has more than enough to keep herself busy.
Her favorite meal to cook is breakfast, with the current menu including egg sandwiches (steak, bacon, scrapple) on long roll, muffin, biscuit or toast; breakfast burritos; breakfast bowls; cream chip beef on toast; and her well-received southern-style sausage gravy on biscuits.
Lunch offerings include cold and hot sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, steak sandwiches, and Mexican food (her favorite type of cuisine). K’s Kitchen also has $4 weekly lunch specials (the menu we saw included Sloppy Joes, meatball subs, macaroni and beef, and ‘walking tacos’ served in a bag of chips with homemade pico de gallo). There are also salad specials for $5 ‘to beat the heat’ such as chicken BLT salad, Greek salad, and fruit salad. Hot and cold drinks are also available.
Peirce encourages new customers to stop by for a taste of what she has to offer. She serves breakfast all day and has a phone in her truck for customers to phone in orders for pick up at 484-798-5349.
To find out more about K’s Kitchen, go to www.facebook.com/KsKitchenPA