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Side Dishes: Wooden Spoon rolls out a mobile food cart


Published August 29, 2012 at 8:47 a.m.

The Front Yard
  • The Front Yard

Just a year after they opened Wooden Spoon Bistro, owners Adam Raftery and Liza O’Brien have been seized by the entrepreneurial spirit again. This month, the brother-and-sister team unveiled the Front Yard food cart, a mobile kitchen they will park at concerts and events.

The brightly colored truck debuted on August 7 at the Lyle Lovett concert at Shelburne Museum, and appeared again at the Lake Champlain Maritime Festival the following weekend. It offers picnicky fare — lobster rolls, mango-braised pork sliders, hand-cut potato chips, and fresh fruit salads with watermelon, peaches and berries — that puts a casual spin on the upscale pub food Raftery and O’Brien serve at their South Burlington eatery.

“It’s a lot easier to run a food cart than a whole restaurant,” explains Raftery, the chef — though, of course, he’s now doing both. Why take on the extra work? “It seemed like something fun that we would all enjoy, and we’ve got the whole [extended] family involved,” Raftery says.

The cart’s vivid colors — turquoise blue with yellow trim — were inspired by Raftery’s years as a chef on the Caribbean island of St. John. The siblings added a picket fence, solar lights and a garden gnome for some whimsy.

The pair have applied for a permit to place their cart outside Higher Ground during events; they plan to weave some local catering into the cart’s schedule, too. “We’re going to pick and choose where we’re going to put it. We definitely want to be smart about it,” Raftery says.