from left, owner matt borchardt and chef steven teters photo by meera nagarajan

St. Louis-based Essentially Fries food truck is no longer operating

Matthew Borchardt, owner and operator of Essentially Fries, has discontinued operations of the french fry-focused food truck.

Essentially Fries has been serving hand-cut fries to the St. Louis area since 2017, but maintaining the truck has been difficult since the pandemic hit. “I didn't have a staff to run the truck and it’s just been sitting on my driveway, not generating revenue,” said Borchardt. 

On top of not having enough labor, the cost of supplies like oil have become unreasonably high for the truck. “It's a french fry truck, obviously, and we use a lot of oil. And pre-pandemic, oil was costing $17 to $19 a jug and now it's anywhere between $47 and $55 for a jug,” said Borchardt. “Hard to justify that kind of increase.”

Juggling both the flagship restaurant, Edibles & Essentials, and the food truck, Borchardt decided to move on from Essentially Fries, ceasing operations on July 1. “Certainly, sad to see it go but, at the same time, it’s one less headache, you know,” said Borchardt.

There is still a chance to have a taste of the Essentially Fries menu with pop-ups scheduled next month at Edibles & Essentials at 5815 Hampton Ave. Menu items from the food truck will be offered again, this time indoors and with a full bar, on Wednesday, Aug. 17, and Wednesday, Aug. 31.  Full menus will be posted to the Edibles & Essentials and Essentially Fries social media accounts prior to the pop-ups.

There may still be hope for Essentially Fries to return one day. “The food truck may make a return. I mean, I kept the brand, I just only sold the physical truck. So, we’ll keep the brand alive,” said Borchardt. “Maybe someday I’ll buy another truck.”

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