Name: Andrew Dudich
Business/Location: Mama Dude's/Hamilton, New Jersey
Specialty: Seasonal, Farm-to-Table food truck
What problem does your business solve?: We support the local economy and increase awareness of local products by sourcing ingredients from local farms and manufacturers.
What makes your business unique?: Our menus are changed seasonally, and we work with various local farms and businesses to source our ingredients. If the product isn’t in season, we don’t have the meal on our menu until it is.
What’s your story?: I started Mama Dude's in 2016 after graduating from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. My original plan was to move to Los Angeles or New York to pursue my culinary career, but sadly, my mother passed away. So I decided to stay close to home since I have a younger brother. My mom had been a chef, and I grew up in the industry--working at a country club, going to culinary school. After I decided to stay in New Jersey, I happened to see a food truck for sale one day on my way home, and the idea was launched. The food truck was started with the intentions of highlighting local products and ingredients from the central New Jersey area. I know that people want to know where their food comes from - from those enjoying fine dining to those having faster fare. And I believe this is how cooking should be done. If it’s the middle of winter, and there’s no asparagus grown locally, then we won’t have meals featuring asparagus at that time. We’ll wait until spring. It forces me to be more creative, and allows me the opportunity to introduce new foods to my customers.
Right now, I have relationships with 4-5 local farms and several other local businesses. We source everything locally--including the drinks and potato chips we serve! I love supporting local businesses and highlighting their impact on the food we all consume.
One piece of advice you have for other food entrepreneurs: Be confident in your product; adapt or die
What do you wish you had known before you started your business?: Rome wasn't built in a day
What’s your greatest challenge in your business and how are you overcoming it?: Introducing everyday consumers to a higher quality of food,achieving the flavors our customers are used to, but using new techniques. We're changing this with consistent service, unmatchable cuisine and unwavering hospitality.
What are you most proud of about your business?: Mama Dude's was named after my late mother, Donna Dudich, who also was a chef. Without a strong commitment to our products, we are no different than every other truck.
What do you love most about being a food entrepreneur? It's a talent based industry. You’re only as good as your last plate. So I always strive to give my customers a memorable meal.
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