Family, Food & Passion: Smashed Apple Food Truck Owner Looks To Open Restaurant With GoFundMe Campaign
Saturday January 23rd, 2016
Posted at 3:36pm
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It’s said that it takes a village to raise a child; the same could be said about developing a business. Not only does it take hard work and true dedication from the developer, but it also takes the support of the community to ensure its success.
Bill Deslippe is hoping he has the support of the community he has engrained himself so far into, to take that next step in the food industry.
The owner of Smashed Apple catering, as well as the iconic food truck, has started a Go Fund Me page in an effort to gain some ground on opening a brick and mortar restaurant. A place where those who enjoy his food so much can go and sit inside and eat, even when the temperatures reach far below zero.
“I saw it on Facebook, it was a joke, ‘Make Me Mega Rich’ was what it was called,” said Deslippe. “I thought that’s a great idea, just out of sheer curiosity I thought ‘why don’t I try this and throw it out there.’ In a day it collected $200 and there was a huge response. My Facebook page is up to almost 11,000 views, which is bigger than any post I’ve ever had on my pages so people are sharing it and seeing it.”
The plan for the restaurant has always been in the back of the 31-year-old entrepreneur’s mind since he got serious about becoming a chef at the age of 23. From Colchester to Whistler, to Invermere and Lake Louise, Deslippe has travelled far and wide, not only to decide on his exact path in life but also to develop his understanding of flavors and foods, before finally settling back down in Essex County when it was time to have his first child.
“Seven years ago, I was kind of a rolling stone,” said Deslippe. “I would work somewhere for eight months, soak up all the knowledge I could and then move on. Owning a business was always a dream and definitely grounds you, but I think children ground you a lot more than a business and having them changes your whole outlook on life, what your goals are and what you want. I want a bright future for my children, as well as myself. I want success … I want to make sure that my kids are always taken care of and that they have everything they need. Everything they want they can earn themselves.”
Deslippe initially opened the Smashed Apple food truck just three years ago as a way to get his food into the forefront of people’s minds to boost his catering business. Last year Deslippe said he had 23 weddings. The year before that, just nine weddings. Fast forward to this year, which will be his fourth season, Deslippe has already booked 42 weddings – and we’re just in January.
The goal is to have the restaurant stand as it’s own entity, while the group of companies will all be similar, Smashed Apple catering, the food truck and the restaurant will all stand alone as well. The location Deslippe is already seeking out is right around Downtown Windsor, which has some of his county patrons a his disappointed, but Deslippe has fair reasons.
“Amherstburg has 10,000 people and a sudden influx of restaurants in the past year that all seem to be struggling somewhat,” said Deslippe. “I know the food will be great and we have a good following here, and a lot of people have commented their disappointment in it not being in Amherstburg, but when it comes down to numbers and success, I’m way better off in a demographic of 200,000 people as opposed to 10,000. It’s just better business.”
Deslippe has already sought out a business partner as well – Louie Rodriguez. The duo met in Lake Louise more than 10 years ago and have been friends ever since. Deslippe said Rodriguez has spent time in Windsor, while currently in Alberta as a chef for a TV and film catering company, which has him cooking food for celebrities. Deslippe believes Rodriguez will be “a great addition to the Smashed Apple Family.”
Aiming to have the business open by 2018, the passionate entrepreneur has already built a menu for the restaurant. While it’s not set in stone yet, Deslippe ensures his loyal patrons and supporters we can expect much of the same roots of the Smashed Apple business – fresh food made from scratch, with locally sourced ingredients. As for the feel of the restaurant, Deslippe is shooting for a gastro-pub-type feel, with a laid back atmosphere and more flexible hours.
“I think we’ll be able to create a restaurant that people talk about,” said Deslippe. “Somewhere that’s comfortable and open later than most restaurants in Windsor. I find, as a chef and cook, I work weird hours and often I want to go out and eat at 10 o’clock and everything that’s half decent is closed by that point. And Sunday’s, you want to go somewhere awesome to eat and most of the time they’re closed on Sunday’s. I just want something that’s open later, especially in the downtown area. Open late, all you really have are Shawarma, McDonald’s and Burger King, there’s no real sit down restaurant where you can go in at 11:30 at night and have an awesome meal with awesome people around you, and a laid back atmosphere.”
Overall, Deslippe hopes this next step will be just as successful as his other businesses and will be jumping head first into this project, much like his other two. From winning Battle of the Hors d’Oeuvres, to social media support, to hearing a passserby on the street tell him how much they love his food, Deslippe is humbled by he opinions and support of the community he calls home.
“I just look forward to continue the growth of Smashed Apple for one, and jumping into this new project,” said Deslippe. “I just want to thank everyone for the support I’ve been shown so far … I feel great, I’m really happy with the way things are going and I can’t believe the response I’ve been getting … I’m always striving to be better, to learn and grow that way, but it’s a good feeling to hear it from other people.”