This is the first in a new series – Women on Wheels – that celebrates women owned and operated food trucks based in Sonoma Valley.
Rachel Hundley is the co-owner of the Drums & Crumbs, a southern cuisine “mobile restaurant” and catering company. When she’s not slinging mac & cheese and fried chicken to hungry folks throughout the Bay Area, she’s a lawyer and a member of the Sonoma City Council. Sarah Stierch, Sonoma Valley Sun Food & Drink Editor, chatted with Hundley at a recent Summer Music Series and Food Truck Friday at the Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma.
What is the theme of Drums & Crumbs?
Serving up authentic southern cuisine from California Wine Country to San Francisco.
Why did you start a food truck?
I was an attorney in New York City before moving to California with the dream of starting a food business. When I wanted to bring in a business partner, I pitched an idea to my old friend Arthur in New York of a fried chicken food truck.
We both grew up in the South and Arthur used to host an annual fried chicken party at his tiny Upper East Side apartment. We both agreed a food truck was where we wanted to start because it is flexible and scalable. Plus, we were both coming from office careers, so having the constant change of scenery was very appealing.
When did you serve your first Drums & Crumbs meal?
The truck was delivered Valentines Day Weekend 2015. It took us a month to figure out how everything worked and how to drive it, and the first meal was served on March 28, 2015.
What is the biggest challenge with operating a food truck in Sonoma Valley?
The regulations in Sonoma are an artifact of a different food truck era. Trucks these days want flexibility to be in a different place every day. To sell in the City of Sonoma, both the food truck and the property owner have to go through the Planning Commission and Design Review to get a land use permit, and even then it is just for one location. Also, food trucks tend to do better when they are with other food trucks, and the viable options to operate in Sonoma are very limited.
What is your favorite thing about operating a food truck in Sonoma Valley?
My business was born in Sonoma three years ago. A few people out there will remember our “tasting parties” hosted at the Sonoma Community Center where we invited everyone we knew at the time and let them try our food for free. Because of the support and generosity of this community, I went from running a catering company with a few pots and pans to owning a very busy food truck with the hopes of building a second truck next year. Every opportunity I have to cater or sell in Sonoma Valley feels like I’m feeding family.
What is your biggest inspiration in your work with Drums & Crumbs?
My whole brand was inspired by my grandmother, Flarcie Hopkins, who lives in Alabama. She still bakes me biscuits when I visit every Christmas.
What is your favorite item you sell at Drums & Crumbs?
Every now and then, we sell a Fried Chicken & Waffle Cone ($6.95). Its a delicious waffle cone from Sweet Scoops filled with boneless bites of fried chicken and topped with cane sugar syrup. There also may or may not be a hidden surprise bite of mac & cheese in the bottom of the cone.
Where can readers find Drums & Crumbs?
For now, the best way to find us is to hire us for a private event! I love doing everything from weddings to wine club events. We’ve been spending a lot of time in San Francisco this year, and while it is incredible watching my food truck keep up with the best trucks in the Bay Area, I look forward to building a second truck so we can do more smaller events closer to home. Oh, and come see us at the Sonoma Music Festival in October!
Check out drumsandcrumbs.com for more information.