In the early 20th Century, an entrepreneur by the name of Martha Matilda Harper had a hairdressing salon where she taught women her method of cutting hair and sold hair care products she made herself. The salon did so well she got other women to open another location where they replicated her first salon. That was so successful she did it a third time, and after a few years Martha had started up 500 salons that were using her methods and selling her hair products. In the process she invented the concept of franchising.
Today you can buy into any number of franchises. Most notable are household names like McDonalds, Ace Hardware, and ReMax. But there are thousands of others, including a franchise called Tap Truck.
Tap Trucks are kind of like food trucks, except they’re set up like a bar, and sell drinks. Unlike food trucks, Tap Trucks aren’t big boxes on wheels. Each Tap truck is a totally renovated, tricked-out, vintage truck.
The two Tap Trucks in New Orleans are a 1951 GMC Panel Truck, and a 1951 Chevy. The local trucks are affiliated with Central City Bar B Q and the New Orleans operator of Tap Truck is Lenaye Doussan.
It’s funny how things go in cycles. When industrialization came to the US and people moved away from the countryside, they found themselves living on pieces of land that were too small for a cow or a garden. So nearby farmers delivered them milk and vegetables. Then, when there was a big enough concentration of people living in suburbs and zooming around in cars, nobody wanted to be old-fashioned and have food delivered from a farm. Not when you could drive your station-wagon to a supermarket.
Today we’ve come full circle. We want everything delivered. And local, organic, “farm to table” is the ideal. A company called Top Box Foods is making that ideal a reality in New Orleans. Connor Deloach is co-founder and Executive Director of Top Box Foods.
Delivery just makes sense. Economically and environmentally. On any given day, instead of 500 of us getting into 500 cars and going out for groceries, a handful of vehicles can deliver that same amount of food to all of those people. And they can deliver food to people who don’t have transportation. Or who live in neighborhoods that don’t have easy access to fresh or locally-sourced produce and groceries.
Although drinking alcohol might not be as essential as eating fruit and vegetables, we’ve come to learn that in our stress-filled lives, entertainment and enjoyment are indeed a vital part of our existence. So, whether we’re talking about Top Box Foods delivering fresh produce and local groceries, or Tap Truck delivering drinks and a good time, delivery just makes sense.
Out to Lunch is recorded live over lunch at NOLA Pizza in theNOLA Brewing Taproom. Photos by Jill Lafleur. And check out more lunchtime conversation about delivery with the founder of Waitr.