Kyle Kern, co-founder of The Pitary, an Israeli food truck, put himself through college working in commercial kitchens and is now using that experience to grow his own business.
"Collectively, I worked in kitchens for about seven or eight years and worked my way through the University of South Florida doing that," he said. "After that I did some political work which afforded me opportunities to travel and interact with lots of different people. People are different everywhere you go, but they're still people so I learned to interface well which helps now that I interact with a good number of customers."
The Pitary is an Israeli food truck that is an extension of the Wild Side Beachwear and is a family owned business. The Dahaman family owns Wildside and wanted to expand into food.
"I found this opportunity with Moshe Dahaman to collaborate on this truck," Kern said. "There's a lot of love in the business and they wanted to inject a little flavor into it. They chose to serve Israeli food because there's a lot of variety because it’s a country made up of people from all over the world. We offer several different types of chicken, beef, lamb and vegan options. We speak in the vernacular of America with something that has a Middle Eastern flair to it."
The Pitary is a bit of a hybrid food truck because it is connected to Wildside and the kitchen inside the building. "It's just as much a restaurant as a food truck because we're here more than we leave particularly because our location is so great right across from the beach," Kern said. "The perk in this hybrid model is that we can offer a level of quality and variety other food trucks can't. Because we have the kitchen in the back of the store, we can do more extensive food prep."
Kern's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is do what you love and treat people well. "Figure out a way to combine the thing you love with the skills you’ve got," he said. "Treat people with dignity and respect and you'll gain a reputation as an honest person that people will want to work with. Practice good values and ethics, make sure you have clear financial benchmarks and then work hard."