Meghan and Andrew Hargrave have traveled many miles together and intend to travel many more in their brand-new food truck, A Little Taste.
The young married couple met in England when they were children.
“We’re only a few years off from having been married over half of our lives together,” said Meghan Hargrave.
Their lives are busy, with jobs and three children younger than 6 years old, but they set up their wares for sale at least once a week in the parking lot at Bulldog Tire, located at 1428 N. Summit St. in Arkansas City.
“Andrew is English and I am American. We grew up in a town just outside of Newcastle-upon-Tyne,” Hargrave said.
Her family now lives in Mulvane, but the Hargraves have been in Kansas for 14 years — the last five in Winfield.
Meeting in England was a result of their careers.
“Then it became about us trying to stay together. Long-distance relationships are doable, but it’s terrible,” Hargrave said.
“I am always proud of how hard we’ve worked to get here.”
Food truck freedom
With ties to two continents, the choice to settle in America was about seeking out a dream of entrepreneurship.
“Andrew is actually a trained chef. So our dream has always been to have our own restaurant,” said Meghan Hargrave.
“And really, America still stands as the land of opportunity. We felt it might be easier to succeed here. Plus, we both really prefer smaller-town life.”
The food truck only has been in the works for about two years, though.
“We actually got a building and tried to work to turn it into a café or restaurant. And it didn’t work out,” Hargrave said.
“The most difficult thing to get is an industrial kitchen set up. So we bought what we needed — it just happens to be on wheels. In the end, it’s opened (up) so many more options.”
Still, the process to get the truck open and operational was a long struggle.
“When you’ve wanted something this long, there’s no doubt. Only the fear to make sure you don’t become the next episode of ‘Bar Rescue’ or ‘Kitchen Nightmares,’” Hargrave said.
Around the world
The Hargraves don’t just sell English food out of A Little Taste — the foods of choice change from week to week.
“A toque — tall pleated chef’s hat — has over 100 pleats in representation of all the ways you can cook an egg,” said Meghan Hargrave.
“(You) can’t tell us you hate eggs if you’ve only ever tried them scrambled.”
“Our menu changes biweekly right now. Each change is (three to four) dishes from that week’s country,” she added.
So far, the Hargraves have explored the cuisines of England and France. They currently are debating which country to explore next.
“There are styles of cooking and a lot of foods we and others miss from home. And (it’s) always fun to encourage people to try something new,” Hargrave said.
A Little Taste of family
Both Hargraves have a passion for cooking, which they credit to their families.
“Andrew’s came from helping his mother in the kitchen. She loves hosting dinner parties,” said Meghan Hargrave.
“And for myself, summers here learning to bake with my grandmother.”
The way they were introduced to preparing food is apparent in their signature dishes, as well.
“Andrew’s is tandoori chicken and mine would be cream puffs,” she said. Tandoori chicken is an Indian dish that is very popular in England.
Their three children, while presenting challenges to their culinary dreams, also are a motivation for success, Hargrave said.
“They have definitely made it a unique challenge. Our motivation and hope is in the end, it’ll mean more time with them,” she said.
“In a way, we really are working from home, mostly.”