• The GOOD MOOD Truck: Living Up to Its Name at Pier 13

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    Food Truck season is in full swing {hello day drinking at Pier 13} and we’re about to make it even harder to choose which truck is your fave. At Pier 13, there’s a food truck that’s sure to put you in a good mood {pun intended}. It’s none other than the GOOD MOOD Truck. Serving what they call “upscale street food,” you won’t want to pass this one up during your next Pier 13 day or evening. We went straight to the source — the owners themselves — to get the low-down on this one-of-a-kind food truck. Read on to learn all about the GOOD MOOD Truck, living up to its name at Pier 13.

    good mood food pier 13

    The History

    good mood food owners

    Husband and wife duo Dean and Emily have been working in the food industry {in different settings} for the majority of their lives and took the leap to attend the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont together. While attending school, the couple scored internships at some of New Jersey’s best and well-known restaurants such as The Frog and Peach, Drew’s Bayshore Bistro, and Doris + Ed’s. Once they truly experienced life in the kitchen, they were hooked and there was no going back. 

    After graduation, they were both hired and progressed through the ranks with a large food service contractor and, after 10 years in operations, they finally decided to use their knowledge and creativity to make something of their own. With lower start-up costs and the ability to easily test different menu items, Dean and Emily knew a food truck was the way to go. Their concept was and still is to serve fun and high-quality food that is aimed to make people happy. The GOOD MOOD Truck is in its fourth season of operation and they aren’t slowing down anytime soon

    See More: The Rollin’ Oat: Hudson County’s 1st Mobile Oatmeal Bar

    The Food 

    good mood food burger

    good mood food fries

    There’s no arguing that rich, decadent food is what puts people in a good mood — and that’s exactly what the GOOD MOOD Truck is serving up. Menu items include the Avocado BLT Cheeseburger {applewood smoked bacon cheeseburger topped with fried avocado, chipotle aioli, lettuce, and tomato}, the Mac Burger {applewood smoked bacon cheeseburger topped with crispy mac + cheese, lettuce, and tomato}, avocado “fries” {topped with jalepeño cilantro aioli}, and a selection of specialty fries {buffalo, truffle, BBQ pulled pork, and more — cue the mouth-watering}. 

    Truck Locations

    The GOOD MOOD Truck can be found at a variety of locations for both lunch and dinner. You can find them at Pier 13 in Hoboken almost every Friday and at the Food Truck Frenzy events, corporate parks, residential complexes, festivals, special events, and even private parties all around Jersey. The truck’s weekly schedule is posted on their social media pages so it’s super easy to find them for any super-intense cravings.

    A Q+A with the Owners

    Hoboken Girl had the chance to sit down with owners Dan and Emily to learn about what it’s like owning a food truck, their personal favorite food items, and more.

    Hoboken Girl: What’s it like being the owners of a food truck?

    Dan + Emily: As with owning any type of business work is never done. There is always a new project to be tackled whether it’s the daily shopping, prep, social media, cleaning, client communications, booking, or developing the next menu item. The work is tough and the hours are long but the passion of working with what we love most, — food —  the constant feedback we receive from our customers, and knowing how happy our food makes people is the motivation that keeps us moving.

    HG: What is your favorite menu item?

    D+E: [Our] favorite burger is the “Mac Burger.” Our guests see it on the menu and say, “I gotta try that.” Then, when we hand it to them their eyes light up like Christmas morning — probably our favorite part of the day. Seriously, this burger is about eight inches high.

    [Our] favorite specialty fries are the Truffle Fries. We take the classic Truffle Fries to the next level by topping our perfectly cooked fries with our black truffle aioli, parmesan cheese, and even gets some sliced black truffles on top. [It’s] a big crowd pleaser and actually [was] recently award-winning-worthy at the Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival this past Memorial Day weekend.

    HG: What is the most popular item?

    D+E: Our “Mac Burger” and our “Avocado Fries” are our most ordered items on the menu. People read our menu and just can’t resist and are never disappointed.

    good mood food kitchen

    HG: What’s a typical workday like?

    D+E: As with most food trucks our days start early prepping, packing the truck, and making any last-minute stops like refilling gas or propane before we head to our lunch location. Every day we are in a different location so travel time can vary from 20 minutes up to an hour and a half. We typically serve lunch from 11:00AM-2:00PM, shut down and head to our dinner location, again travel time can vary so if there’s time, we stop at one of the many Restaurant Depot locations to stock back up on ingredients. We serve dinner from 5:00PM-8:00PM and there is usually time to do some prep before we have to open the window for dinner service. After dinner, we spend time cleaning the truck and making the trek back to where we park the truck. Each day ends with recapping the day, final cleaning and catching up on e-mails. And then we do it all again! Since each day is a different location the scenery is constantly changing and have a new set of customers to please each day who typically have been anxiously awaiting our next visit. This keeps it exciting for us. 

    HG: When you first started, what were your biggest challenges?

    D+E: Our first year was all about getting to know our truck, our processes, and figuring out how we can be the most efficient as possible. Learning the regulations in each town, county, and city we operated [in]was a bit frustrating because each is similar but different. The truck itself has lots of moving parts meaning things can go wrong. So learning all the items we need to have on hand at all times, like generator oil, tools, extension cords, light bulbs, and one extra of everything, the list is really endless. The second year, we found ourselves and found that habits are generated and there was less and less turning around halfway to our lunch location because we forgot our register money or iPad to take credit cards. 

    ReadMore: Empanada Guy: Serving Delicious + Flaky Treats at Pier 13

    HG: What’s the best thing about owning a food truck + serving the community?

    D+E: The number one absolute best thing of owning a food truck and serving the community are the smiles and reactions we get when handing people their orders and better yet, when they take that trip back to the truck after their meal to let us know that was the best burger they ever had or how flavorful those pulled pork fries are. We also love being involved in all the community events and school fundraisers that we get to contribute to the great programs they offer and help with the supplies that are needed. 

    We highly value the relationships we have developed with other trucks we work with and cross paths with each week. We call this our food truck fam. In most industries, similar businesses are fierce competitors, but not in this industry. For the most part, we all know each other, work together, sweat together, and our food compliments each other. Many more people are likely to visit the trucks if five are lined up than just one lonely truck. The idea is to try a little bit from each of those trucks and support each local, family-owned business.

    HG: What’s the toughest thing about having a mobile business today?

    D+E: The toughest part of the mobile industry today is all the political red tape. What may be OK in one town may be the opposite in another. Each time we go into a different town, city, or county there are different requirements and permits that are needed. The fees vary drastically and some towns will make you get a new permit every time you move the truck. Sometimes, it’s just a health permit, when another will require a health and fire permits, on top of this we even see towns requiring backgrounds check, peddlers license, zoning permits, parking permits, etc. The fees add up fast and we are inspected by various health departments almost 100 times each year where a restaurant is inspected once.

    good mood food truck

    HG: Where do you see the future of your food truck business going?

    D+E: While we do have plans for expansion in the future, as every business wants to grow, honestly we are very happy with what we are doing currently as we connect with every single customer that walks up to the serving window. As we grow into more outlets we realize that some of what has helped us gain our current reputation is not only high-quality food, but also the high-quality service. So, it is very important to us that this experience is never something to be lost. Once we ensure we can provide that perfect experience for each and every guest whether a restaurant or another truck, we are not making any impulse decisions until we know it is just right. Stay tuned!

    The Final Verdict

    If you haven’t visited the GOOD MOOD Truck, we’re sure you’ll be running to the pier after reading this article. Not only are Dean and Emily awesome people, but the food they create is mouth-watering. Pay them a visit soon, grab a mile high burger, and tell them Hoboken Girl sent you.

    Have you tried food from the GOOD MOOD truck? Let us know in the comments! 


    Written by:

    Briana is a born-and-raised Hoboken Girl who embraces both the new and old aspects of the Mile Square. She’s a freelance writer, works in social media, and more importantly (but not really) — a cat lover and total foodie. When she’s not working, she can be found convincing herself to buy something at Sephora or Target, eating mussels with her fiancé at Leo’s, or planning her next Disney vacation.


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