Lowe-To-Go: An Interview with Darren Achtezhn about the Food Truck

A picture of the Lowe-to-Go food truck. Photo courtesy of Macie Nelson.

The food truck on campus, known as Lowe-To-Go, has been a hit on the Hill and down at the Seton Hill Visual Arts Center. In order to find out about the workings and process, I was able to ask Darren Achtezhn, the Director of Food Services at Seton Hill University, a few questions. 

Q: How did the idea for the food truck come about? When did the process all start?  

A: This started right after you folks left campus in March. Could not do anything about what was happening then, but I surely could do something about when and if you returned to campus. With that thought in mind and the fact that all the rules were ever changing on dine in capacities, I started thinking about what we could do to serve the campus best on those large volume days and also get a hot meal option down to the students in the arts buildings. With the help of a lot of folks, mostly Shane Brazil, my only employee at the time because all others had been laid off, we started an idea. While chatting with Mr. David Giron, the district manager from Aramark, he made a connection for the trailer that was underutilized at East Stroudsburg University. 

Q: What was the process like for the actual truck and then establishing the food and staff? 

A: After getting the trailer from ESU to here with the help of the DM and then Ken Shaw one of our dedicated utility men cleaned it from top to bottom and removed the ESU decals. Then we needed to rebrand the trailer to us, so we employed the services of Blue Sky Designs here in Greensburg, an alum owned business. Taryn Six who works for them, also an Alum, came up with the design and name. With the support of the CFO Jennifer Lundy and some help from Michele Wisneck Asst. Marketing Director at Seton Hill for brand pics and logos, we were on our way. Then with the help of our new Executive Chef Stephanie Davis and our Catering Director Terry Chavara, we put together a rotating menu that we thought would give our customers a little taste in cultural cuisine. Chef Alberto Ortaga was the best choice of a person that has great food passion for serving or students with his great love of food. He is our main person, but we all get a turn to rotate through serving. 

Q: As students what can we expect from the food truck in the future? Is there anything new in the works? 

A: We will always be thinking of how we can use it differently to serve. So, you may see it appear in different places as our campus continues to adapt to the ever changing world we live in. Stay tuned and we will always take suggestions of menu items that you may want to see. 

Q: What has the response been like from both students and staff?  

A: Overwhelming, on a good note! Folks seem to like what’s happening in there and are always willing to try new things! As you can see, this thing was made possible because of the continued team dedication of the Hill to best serve our students. It takes a village.

The Food Truck is available in the Art Yard at the SHU Visual Arts Center on Mondays and Wednesdays, and outside Lowe on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On both days, the truck is open from 12pm-3pm. Tickets are available in the Visual Arts Center and the Dining Hall through a meal swipe.

Some of the options so far have been, the theme park style grilled cheese with tomato soup, the philly cheese steak, pierogi tacos, and the portabella mushroom burger. There will be even more options throughout the semester along with some options that will come back on rotation. 

Published by: Mikaela Fitzpatrick

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