Thomas Huggett is one of Cedaredge's newest business owners -- at 20 years old.
Under the name "The Colorado Cravings," his food truck is offering an array of carnival type foods. His specialty is the hamburger. "I'm a burger fanatic and love making them," he said.
Other menu items include nachos, hotdogs, snowcones, caramel apples and cotton candy. Huggett also went wild with the deep fryer and serves hand dipped corn dogs, including jumbo dogs, and deep fried oreos. When asked what makes his food unique, he said, "I try to make everything on the menu taste great so it's not just ordinary."
Business hours are Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m..
Huggett stepped into the food business by working at another family-owned restaurant. During high school he started as a dishwasher then became one of the cooks. "I quickly discovered I had a passion for making burgers," he said.
After graduating, Huggett started college -- the typical course for most. One semester in he realized that becoming a mechanical engineer wasn't the path he wanted to pursue. While weighing his options for next steps the opportunity to start a food truck business landed in his lap.
"Everything came together very quickly," said Huggett.
Huggett's father, Jerry Huggett, was completely remodeling the food trailer with a friend. Huggett had seen it a couple times when he travelled to California with his dad to work on it.
After the friend decided to sell it, Jerry was offered a good deal. "We saw this as a good investment," said Huggett. "I figured I might as well try."
Though Huggett was offered the trailer for substantially lower than the retail value, the upfront cost was the main challenge. But with help through a loan from Huggett's sister, the question on finances was solved. Shortly after Huggett and his father traveled out to California to get the trailer.
All this happened in February. They put together the business plan, finished the electrical and got legally established. April 1 marked the first day of business.
Located at 7th and Main in Cedaredge, Huggett decided to park the trailer at its current location to keep overhead low. His family already rents the property from his grandmother.
One of his "whys" is to pay off the student loan debt. "I really want to build the life I want. I see this as a step towards that investment for independence," he said.
Having been in business for a few months, Huggett said he's enjoying the journey. Most might see the prospect of launching a business while young to be impossible. Huggett said his parents served as role models, having always been self-employed.
The hardest challenge so far has been self-discipline. While not having a boss or restrictions has been great, Huggett said he's had to shift his mindset to understand building a business takes time and hard work.
"Thomas has really grown as a business man himself," said Jerry. "He's having to learn first hand that it takes consistency, trial and error to be successful."
Once he generates enough profit to purchase a bigger generator and different grill, Huggett plans to make the truck mobile and attend some of the festivals in the area.
"The trailer is essentially paying for itself," he said. In the future, though, he hopes to see it grow beyond maintenance to help accomplish his goals.
However, already Huggett has seen the positive response that comes from serving people good food. One story in particular stands out.
While eating the food truck's fresh cut french fries, a customer shared how he biked up to Cedaredge from Delta. That particular day the trek was a challenge but he said he persevered to specifically get Huggett's fries.
"I'm trying to live a happy life and make others happy, which just so happens to be through my food," said Huggett.