Schmear It mixes cream cheese and philanthropy into one flavor.
Dave Fine, owner of the food truck, didn’t intend to center a new business around food. Without a culinary background, he also didn’t plan to cook, yet he eventually chose to open a truck centered on bagels and customizable cream cheese.
“I wanted to do something to combine social impact and food,” Fine said. “A food truck was the easiest way to create an experiment like this.”
The idea of a starting a company with social impact stemmed from Fine’s entrepreneurial fellowship from Tribe 12. This past year, during Fine’s time as a fellow, he started to put together the idea of Schmear It. To incorporate social impact into the business, the truck partners with a variety of nonprofit organizations to promote their causes. The featured cause receives a portion of the profits from the truck.
“The partnership with Tribe 12 after graduating from the Fellowship includes continued networking, grant opportunities, further educational classes and mentoring,” Fine said. “Given Schmear It’s business model, I am also partnering with Tribe 12 to feature it as a featured cause on the truck. Tribe 12 offers an extensive and endlessly supportive community of which I’m fortunate to be a part [of].”
Schmear It is currently promoting Monster Milers, an organization that pairs runners with homeless dogs to serve as exercise companions.
Although part of the business is focused on social good, there is still the large task of running the truck itself. Fine said his day can start as early as 5 a.m. and keeps him busy well into the evening.
A typical day includes everything from preparing the truck, serving customers, restocking, cleaning, shopping and preparing it all again for the next day.
However, since Fine did not come from a culinary background, he didn’t originally plan to participate in the cooking for his truck. Although the bagels come from South Street Bagels, he creates original recipes with cream cheese. Instead of mixing premade flavors, the cream cheese is made to order, with toppings mixed together.
“This was my creative take on something simple,” Fine said.
Fine has created a few recipes for the cream cheese combinations but also allows customers to mix and match for their own creations. There is a variety of bagels and spreads to choose from, including vegetarian and vegan options. Some of his signature combinations include the “Loxsmith,” with cream cheese, chopped lox, scallions, tomatoes and cucumbers, and the “Stuffed French Toast,” with cream cheese, strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, cinnamon and maple syrup on a French toast bagel.
For a different spin on cream cheese flavors, customers can opt for the “Flaming Islander,” a sweet and spicy combination of cream cheese, mango and sriracha sauce.
“I wanted to make it fun, put a spin on it,” Fine said. “Plenty of places have premade cream cheese, but this is fresher and more customizable.”
Even his truck wasn’t found in a typical fashion. After searching for what he needed in a truck, he found what he was looking for – on eBay. He said it was his first and only purchase from the auction site. He then worked with Executive Auto Salon to turn the truck into what it is now.
“It was definitely a scary move, but one that seems to have paid off,” Fine said. “It was one of my first learning experiences that sometimes you have to just take the dive.”
Sarae Gdovin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.