Lizzie’s Curbside, the beloved food truck usually located on Whitney Road on the University of Connecticut Storrs campus, celebrated its 30th anniversary yesterday after persevering through a pandemic and now, a snowstorm.
Lizzie Searing, the owner of Lizzie’s Curbside, began with a gifted hot dog cart from her future mother-in-law as a wedding gift in February 1991. After 30 years, her business still represents an important part of the UConn community. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, Searing found herself unemployed.
“UConn’s business halted; catering halted because weddings and large school events were postponed; Coventry Farmers Market was halted. I found myself without a job,” said Searing.
After receiving an outpouring of support and local press coverage, Searing’s trailer was offered a spot at the Nathan Hale Feed & Farm in her hometown of Coventry.
“In a perfect world, I’d like to get back to my family at UConn. I have a lot of friends, family, people that have gotten married after meeting at the food wagon,” Searing said. “It’s been awesome, but now I’m on hold, trying to reinvent myself in a different spot in my hometown. It’s doing okay but it’s difficult because it’s winter and it’s a completely different clientele.”
A slight silver lining for Lizzie’s Curbside is because she serves from a trailer, her business is open air. While many businesses have had to close their doors due to the risk that indoor dining poses to COVID-19 safety, Searing can continue to serve, weather permitting.
As soon as this storm blows over, Searing plans to get back to work at the usual spot on campus and properly celebrate her business’ accomplishment. With spring approaching, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“I will return, I’m not giving up after all of these years. The outcry of love and support has helped me to persevere and move forward, instead of throwing in the towel. 30 years of being in the food business is a really long time,” Searing said.