Shelbey Ganzel has been passionate about baking her entire life, so buying a food truck last year seemed like a way to make her dream a reality. But sometimes on the road to success, you get a flat tire. Literally.
Ganzel purchased a used food truck last year and turned it into PAC Pastries, a mobile bakery offering organic, vegan, and gluten-free treats. But just as she started establishing a good following, the truck broke down. "We just hit our one-year anniversary in August. Last year, I bought the truck used, and there was always something wrong with it. I wasn't very familiar with the food truck industry, so I thought, 'Oh, this happens to everyone.' But things went wrong too many times."
The bottom dropped out for Ganzel when her truck broken down about a month ago while at a festival in Jupiter. "I have a friend who works at a mechanic's shop, and every call that I got from him was bad news. It seems that nearly everything is broken or cracked or eroded."
Ganzel, who went into the business with a rainy-day fund, says the repairs are too much for her small business to survive, so she's reaching out to the public with a Kickstarter campaign. "At first, I thought Kickstarter was for people who just threw in the towel. I thought, 'Why don't you get a loan'? But I already have a loan out for the truck, and now I'm in a situation that I never thought I would be in. When trying to keep your dream alive, why not try everything? I have nothing to lose except my time."
The entrepreneur got into the vegan, gluten-free baking business after she gave her boss, the owner of Oceana Coffee in Tequesta, some cupcakes and got rave reviews. "I was a barista there, and the owner actually offered to help me start my own business." Ganzel's baked goods are currently on sale at the coffee shop, as well as at BC Cafe in Davie, Tunie's in Palm Beach Gardens, and Green Bar and Kitchen in Boca Raton.
Ganzel says all this is just a setback and she's determined to share her guilt-free treats with South Florida. "It's been a struggle since day one," she says, "and I've struggled all my life, so this is nothing that I can't take on."