It was 2010, and Brian Mullins was standing in a long line for one of Miami’s few food trucks. That’s when it hit him: A truck with an intense focus on high-quality food could conquer South Florida’s foodie fans.
The long-time foodservice veteran teamed with his wife, Fatima, and business partner Christian Dickens to launch Ms. Cheezious in December of that year. From the start the truck had passionate fans who came from all over Miami for a menu that originally consisted of six grilled-cheese sandwiches and the option for guests to build their own.
“We were off to the races,” Mullins says. “We were cooking everything on the truck, which was difficult to keep up with the volume because we were doing big festivals with an oven trying to cook bacon two sheet pans at a time.”
Ms. Cheezious opened a second truck and later a brick-and-mortar location, which also became a commissary kitchen. Having incubated several menu ideas on the trucks through LTOs, the store boasted a more robust menu, with sandwiches like Frito Pie Melt, the Crabby Cheese Melt, and Short Rib Melt.
“When we opened the restaurant, there were 17 creations on the menu, because all of those sandwiches we were able to do in the two to three years before we opened that we knew would sell like hotcakes, we had the recipe and we just put them on the menu,” Mullins says.
He’s focused now on growing Ms. Cheezious through storefronts; the brand has three leases signed for the Miami area. He’s also planning to franchise the brand, but first is trying to perfect its delivery model. As for the trucks? Mullins says he’ll use them to scout a new city before entering with stores.