Sometimes I think opening up a restaurant. Or perhaps a food trailer. I think that might be fun, and might still swing in that direction sometime down the line. While I'm doing that daydreaming, I'm forced to ask myself what I'd like to sell at my little place. And the options are endless! Would I have a really comprehensive menu like they do at The Cheesecake Factory, where it seems like the menu is more like a novel? Or would I really try to streamline my offerings, so that I could focus on just doing a handful of things really well.
Usually, when I'm thinking of the menu for a potential food trailer, I feel like you would have to have four to six menu items to work with as a minimum. I mean, how much less can you get away with? Can you really just sell three things at your food store? Or two? Is it possible to make and sell just ONE thing and still run a profitable enterprise? I certainly would have thought not until I first happened into Las Paletas in Nashville, TN.
I was there for the first time when I was living in Music City. It was just opening, and it had quite the buzz. I figured it would just be a flash in the pan, that no one could sustain their business on just ONE item. After I walked out of there for the first time, I was beating myself up for not coming up with the idea of selling gourmet popsicles. And only gourmet popsicles.
The key here, really, is the quality. I contend that you can not sustain a one-item business if that one item is anything less that spectacular. Your customers are going to be talking about the only item you sell, so that one item had better be outstanding. And if it is, like the popsicles are at Las Paletas, than you've got a real shot at making things work.
The fun thing about Las Paletas is that the menu is always changing, which is to say that they always have a few new and/or different popsicle varieties available each day to go along with those that are their daily staples. Also, they have the popsicles basically divided into two different offerings: fruity and creamy. So you get to let your taste buds enjoy both sides, or at least have the opportunity to pick between the sides. It really is a unique and creative approach to running a business. And it's great!
On this episode of 'The Hungry Cowboy,' I stopped into Las Paletas on a particularly chilly day in Nashville. And, I have to tell you, even in cold weather, these popsicles are amazing!