How the Idea Began...
I have always wanted to own my own business, and for many years I envisioned an Italian restaurant. My brother-in-law has encouraged me over the years to jump into the food truck venture. He would share the success stories he’s seen in the various cities he traveled through. The idea of a food truck was quite foreign to me, as food carts are very rare in Japan – my native land. The few food carts I was familiar with were constantly driving around the neighborhoods, verbally calling out to all passer by’s to come try their wares.
Sweet Potato food cart
9811 NE 15th ave
My father and mother relaxing after a long day at Caruso-Nishinomiya, Japan
Flashback to the Past...
I was introduced at a young age to the life of a chef. My father, Tomio Matsumoto, has been a successful Italian & pastry chef for over 40 years. Although I have trained under other chefs, my love and understanding of Italian cuisine came from my father and his Italian mentor, Antonio Caruso (RIP). As a young child, growing up in a restaurant wasn’t easy, but I’m extremely thankful for what it taught me. I learned the daily ins and outs of owning a small scale restaurant; I have a strong work ethic and know the dedication and constant innovation it takes to remain current and successful.
How the Project to Own a Food Cart Emerged...
Interning and working in Sorrento, Italy ignited my passion for pizza and food created in a wood fire oven. This passion has continued to grow and I was ready to turn my dream into a reality, becoming a pizzaiolo, and producing the freshest foods from a 900 degree oven, emulated from the oven styles fabricated in Naples, Italy. I have found restaurants in Portland, Seattle and San Francisco that offer authentic Napoletan style pizza, and wanted to bring this exciting, different, fresh and flavorful pizza to the Vancouver area!
In May of 2015, I decided to run a crowd funding campaign on kickstarter. If it succeeded, I would do my best to open up a food cart within a year, if it didn’t...I’d search for Plan B. Luckily, we received such love and support from our Vancouver community members, friends and family near and far. We were fortunate to open up in December of 2015, and have only been learning how to continue to excel in Napoletan pizza and coming up with other side dishes to sell.
We are here now at 9811 NE 15th ave in Vancouver, WA because our community helped us get here. Now, we are working to bring a food cart pod to Vancouver, WA….