The Traveling Bowl

August 2021 – Customer of the Month

The Traveling Bowl began as a food truck in June 2017. The owner, Gina Emel, has a degree in supply chain management from KU and grew up around the restaurants that her parents started. This prepared her and helped her to understand the components that are necessary in the food industry. After 3 years in her food truck, she opened her brick and mortar location at the corner of 23rd and Lorraine in Hutchinson.

Shortly after Gina started The Traveling Bowl as a food truck, Michael was added as a co-owner. He is a salesman at Midwest Superstore, but he does most of the baking and maintenance for The Traveling Bowl.

Gina’s expansion plan didn’t include a site location. It only included more food trucks. However, after cooking her food in a regular kitchen while her trailer was shut down for several months, a more permanent location seemed like the best step forward. When the location at 2221 N Lorraine, Hutchinson (former home of Rita’s Italian Ice and Five Guys), became available, she knew it was a great opportunity.

While The Traveling Bowl was operating out of the food truck, they would always run out of food. This is a good problem to have, but it caused Gina to wonder about what the possibilities would be with a larger kitchen. Her new permanent location gave her that opportunity, and business is booming. Currently, 70% of their business is still drive-through.

The Traveling Bowl’s menu consists of comfort foods, and the secret recipes originate from Gina and her fiancé’s grandmothers.  The most popular regular menu items are her meatloaf and the cheesy hash. You can read about the weekly specials and find other news about The Traveling Bowl by following them on Facebook or Instagram.

The Traveling Bowl has kept their food truck for catering weddings and other outdoor events, so if you are planning an event, call The Traveling Bowl at 620-474-2390, and see what they can do for you!

The Traveling Bowl’s story is unique because initially, Gina had no intention of opening a brick and mortar location. However, the opportunity arrived, and she knew it was the best next step, and she hasn’t regretted the decision. If you haven’t visited them yet, go! You won’t regret it! Let them know that you’re a first-time visitor, and they’ll give you a free candy truffle!

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