What started out as a simple hot dog cart, single table and a couple coolers is on its way to becoming a much larger mobile healthy food option, but Daisy Mckechnie must first make the money needed for such a venture.
Throughout the summer, expect to see Daisy’s Delicious Dishes food trailer set up at Kinross Speedpark on race days and at the Chippewa County Fair.
“I will actually all be down by the horse barns,” she said, previewing fair week. “I'm down at the other end. My food is cheaper than everybody else's, and it is better. It is all made from quality products. I don't sell any junk. I mean, my hot dogs are all beef. My sandwiches are good meat. It’s not junk compressed meat. It's real turkey and real bacon.”
Daisy’s Delicious Dishes sells all beef hot dogs, nachos and grilled sandwiches. Sandwiches are said to be her specialty.
“I do BLTs,” said Mckechnie. “I do a turkey club. I also do Yooper club, which has turkey, bacon, ham, lettuce, tomato and mayo on toasted Texas toast. I do nachos and cheese; and nachos, chili and cheese. I make loaded nachos. They have chili cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sour cream. I also do walking tacos.”
Rewind ten years, Mckechnie knew she wanted to offer people homegrown, fresh, affordable healthy food options.
“I did a lot of research, and it seemed like the easiest way to go was a small hot dog cart to get my name out there and learn the business,” Mckechnie said. “I had never done it before. I started with a small hot dog cart and, as you see, it’s slowly grown. By next year, I'm going to have that big giant trailer. My plan is to be the healthy option.”
But Mckechnie still plans on selling some “junk food” items out of the 44-foot enclosed trailer she is in the process of purchasing from Kinross Speedpark Director Mike Fox. The new trailer will be equipped with a commercial freezer, and walk-in cooler to preserve perishable food items. In the meantime, Mckechnie will be setting up and serving food out of the 26-foot food trailer she currently has.
“This one's been going for four years,” Mckechnie said, looking ahead to next summer when she can just open the trailer window and serve from it.
“We've met with some farmers in the last couple of years,” she said. “I'd like to be able to sell all locally produced meat. Once summer gets going, like July time, it can be all locally produced produce as well. It will be all locally grown stuff that you know where it came from ... just normal food, instead of stuff coming from the store.”
Mckenchnie compared store bought meat to locally raised and butchered meat.
“The meat you buy from the store is gross compared to what you buy from a farmer,” she said. “It's not even the same color.”
Husband Ben Warner helps his wife in her endeavor to become the “healthy” food trailer.
“He's amazing,” she said. “Honestly, it's really hard to find good help in people willing to just do random events. But I have recently found a lot of people in Kinross that can help me on slow days.”
Down the road, Daisy’s Delicious Dishes food trailer might be traveling outside of Chippewa County.
“There's a gentleman that does the Faster Horses concert every year,” said Mckechnie. “It’s a three day event. He makes $30,000 a day; take home. That's crazy.”
Mckechnie studied business management in college. Since then, she has decided to be her own boss, doing what she is most passionate about.
“I love serving people,” said Mckechnie. “I love the customer service thing and making really good food. It's when you see somebody take that first bite and they're like, ‘That's good.’ That's what I like to see. I like seeing the smile on people's faces."
She would even like to take her husband along for the ride one day, sharing Eastern Upper Peninsula meats and vegetables with all.
“If we could do something like that, just the two of us, it would be amazing,” Mckechnie said.