Local Business Transforms From Catering to Food Truck Service Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

To Keep Business Booming, the Owners of 'Room at the Table' Have Turned to Food Truck Service

CLOQUET, Minn. – The past year has been interesting, to say the least for folks in the food service industry.

From a lack of indoor dining to canceled events, many changes have had to occur for folks to make ends meet.

“With COVID, we started flipping burgers and it worked out great,” said Paul Sapyta, owner of Room at the Table Catering & Bakery.

If you ask Sapyta, there’s always room for everyone at the table.

“We just love giving back to the community that way and being able to help out,” said Sapyta.

Over the past year, giving up wasn’t an option for Sapyta and his business partner. They turned the wheel from catering to centering on food truck service in communities across the Twin Ports.

“If you have a food truck you decide when you get to open, decide how much food you have. If you have a restaurant you have to have milk and salad and hope people show up,” said Sapyta.

Now success is the name of the game.

“It gives us freedom and lets us be creative,” said Sapyta.

Room at the Table recently obtained a license to sell this summer in Duluth. From burgers to rice bowls, and much more, there’s something on the menu that is sure to please everyone.

“We always wanted to include everybody in that. We will always have gluten-free options, vegetarian options,” said Sapyta.

Sapyta says one of the biggest challenges he faced over the past year is the climate, not a lack of customers.

“The trailer was built in Tennessee so it wasn’t winterized for anything that we need,” said Sapyta.

Thankfully, the food truck was already purchased, acting as a mode of delivery for large-scale events.

“It was always a side thing to supplement the catering or to facilitate the catering, and then when COVID hit and nobody could go inside, people still needed food and we needed to pay rent,” said Sapyta.

Now with summer on the horizon, this chef and his team are prepared to accept the challenge of feeding friendly customers and looking forward to whatever happens next.

“You can always follow us on Facebook, we’re working on the website right now,” said Sapyta.

Room at the Table currently sells burgers every Friday night from four until seven in the Cloquet VFW parking lot.

They love to partner with organizations to host fundraisers as well.

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