When Sameer was laid off for the second time in 2011, the family took a chance to be trailblazers in the San Antonio food truck scene. Thus, The Rickshaw Stop was born. Using secret family recipes and a keen knowledge of what it takes to have a successful business, Sameer and his family set out on a new adventure. Serving unique Pakistani dishes such as kebabs and crispy-triangle samosas, this truck came in at number 7 on our list of 101 Best Food Trucks in America 2013. We caught up with owners Meagan and Sameer Siddiqui to talk about how they got started, their truck, and of course, their passion for Pakistani food.
When did you launch your truck?
What was the inspiration for going into this business?
When Sameer was studying business in college, the Pakistani dishes he brought from home were very popular with his roommates and friends. He always thought that the unique flavors would appeal to a wider audience. During the recession in 2011, when Sameer was laid off for the second time, the family took that as “opportunity knocking” and we decided to try our hand at being trailblazers in the emerging San Antonio food truck scene. With Meagan and Sameer’s strong business backgrounds and the cooking skills (and secret family recipes) possessed by his mother, aunt, and uncle, we decided as a family that they were ready for the adventure and haven't looked back. The best part about running Rickshaw Stop is that the family absolutely loves what we do.
What's the story behind the origin of your truck's name?
In Karachi, Pakistan, where Sameer’s family is from, the auto Rickshaw is a popular form of transportation; the "stop" is where you get picked up or dropped off, much like a taxi stand. Since the cuisine is gourmet Pakistani street food, the name seemed to be a perfect fit.
What's the inspiration for your cuisine and recipes?
Our family. All of the recipes have been handed down through generations. The challenge when we launched Rickshaw Stop was putting those family recipes on paper because, like many families, many of the recipes had never been written down and the directions were often "a pinch of this" and "a little bit of that." We all worked together to perfect the recipes by agreeing upon specific measurements for all ingredients so that we could create consistent, high quality food every day.
If you haven't already, would you ever go brick-and-mortar?
We have talked about it, but it isn't something we are considering right now. We like the freedom that the food truck set up allows us; however, we are interested in expanding our brand and are also considering ways to do that in the future either with additional trucks in other locations or possibly franchisees.