SOUTH JORDAN — Daysha Filipe has never been one to make plans. She'd spent years helping her grandparents at their restaurant, Lanikai Grill, and learning how to cook — so after college, she thought, “how hard could it be?” when she bought a food truck.
“I don’t think I realized how crazy I was until I actually started, and realized people actually have business plans,” she said.
She started her food truck business, called The Salty Pineapple, which specializes in Hawaiian BBQ. Soon, she encountered problems with permits, scheduling and even the occasional disaster.
“We’ve had generators fall out of our truck on the freeway,” she said. “We’ve had situations that were just unbelievable. It’s been nuts.”
And, of course, there were times where for Filipe and her partner, Shantel Longfellow, walking away seemed like the easiest option.
“There were definitely a lot of tears,” Filipe said. "It was just way more than I anticipated, like, 'Oh my gosh, let’s open up a food truck and throw a bunch of food into a truck and that’s simple.' No.”
But sometimes, life just happens.
"She was like, ‘Hey,'" Filipe said, recounting an encounter she had while her truck was parked at The Gateway. "'Your truck’s really cool, can we set up an interview?'"
That’s how Filipe’s business ended up on "Big Food Truck Tip", a show on the Food Network with celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern.
“It all happened very fast,” Filipe said. “Just being able to meet and be featured on the show with Andrew was amazing.”
But since the show was new, Filipe was just happy for the publicity and didn’t know what it was actually about.
“The next day when he was like, ‘hey, we want to come get some pictures really quick that we forgot to get,'” Filipe said. “Then they dropped ten grand in our tip jar, and I was like, 'whoa.'”
That amount in cash is the “tip” for the winner in "Big Food Truck Tip," literally dropped right into the jar. Some might immediately put that cash towards getting out of the food truck business and getting into an actual restaurant.
“We’re going to take on next year with another trailer,” Filipe said. “In the future, yes, I will open a brick and mortar. I think we’re going to just build our food truck empire.”
She’s plotting out a strategy — because while sometimes, life just happens, Filipe’s learned that the best way forward is to try making plans.
“It all worked out, so I’m happy I didn’t research it,” she said. “I mean, it was a struggle, it was, but I feel like it’s made me appreciate it more.”