Lizzie Searing, the owner of Lizzie’s Catering and Curbside food truck, will be giving out free cake between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. today at her location on Whitney Road to commemorate 28 years of service on campus.
“It (giving out cake) is the only way I can think of to give something back, plus everybody loves cake,” Searing said. “It’s nice to give people something, and the regulars always come out.”
Searing said what keeps her coming back is the students’ reactions to the products she cooks and the service given.
“I enjoy the people’s reactions when they love the food and come back and say, ‘that was amazing, that was the best sandwich I ever had,’” Searing said.
Her relationships with the customers are also important to the services she provides on campus, Searing said.
“I love interacting with the different types of people and characters,” Searing said. “We just love doing this, it is a blast. The camaraderie is the best part.”
Searing said a large part of the reason why her business has gained so much traction is because of social media and its influence in the UConn population.
“We have a young lady named Meg who is a communications major here,” Searing said. “She does our Instagram and our Facebook and she posts all of these things for us and that has really helped business.”
Searing said the anniversary also marks time for some changes and expansions to her business, both at UConn and in the catering realm in general.
“We are in the process of building another food wagon that looks just like this one but will be six feet larger,” Searing said. “We are going to launch that in the spring so we can do two events at different locations.”
Although the winter months at UConn have been frigid, Searing said the work and extra effort needed is always worth it.
“It is rough in the winter mornings because all the food has to be loaded in here,” Searing said. “So, I have to go in and out, and that is a pain because if it is icy or slushy I have to go up a ramp and I have to be careful that (I) don’t fall or slip. Things have to be put in last minute or else they’ll freeze.”
Brook Perrigo, a second-semester accounting major, said she enjoys the services Lizzie’s offers and fits it into her schedule.
“I don’t get it that often but when I’m hungry before work I’ll come grab it,” Perrigo said. “I love it. I think especially with dining hall food on campus, it is so refreshing to get good, home-cooked meals.”
Kim O’Connor, who works in faculty in UConn’s Sponsored Program Services, said she consistently looks forward to the services Lizzie’s offers when she is on campus.
“Whenever she is out during breaks, I cannot wait until she gets back,” O’Connor said. “She has a wide array of homemade soups that are excellent, the pasta salads and the daily specials are excellent. It is the freshest food on campus.”
To others, Lizzie’s Curbside is nothing less than a necessity on campus, like sixth-semester economics major Ryan Byrne.
“Lizzie’s is about 50 percent of what keeps me alive,” Byrne said. “Words cannot describe how important this food truck is to my academic career. Simply incredible.”
Courtney Sevarino, who has worked closely with Searing at the food truck for the last several years and will be celebrating today, reflected similarly.
“We do love our jobs,” Sevarino said.
Taylor Harton is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. They can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.