FFWD – Bar & Restaurant Guide

FFWD - Bar & Restaurant Guide

Calgary Herald – Stampede Adventurous Offerings

Calgary Herald - Stampede Adventurous Offerings

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The Birth of Naaco

Well, here we are, two days before we open, and let me say, it’s crazy. A few screaming matches, a few tears, a few sleepless nights, flying plastic on The Deerfoot, vegetables trays for dinner, leaks, squeaks, broken locks, broken valves, broken speedometers, missing fire extinguishers, overflowing water tanks, dealing with Mr. Hollywood himself (Aman), never even making a Naaco, and undelivered product..well…let’s just say leads to some tense moments.

Things have been crazy, and in all honesty, I can’t wait until The Naaco Truck opens and we can stop planning and start DOING. While Aman could literally talk about the truck but never have it open, I am the opposite, I am definitely getting stir crazy, and very definitely getting poor.

I keep asking myself, “would I ever do this again?” And…while the verdict isn’t out quite yet, in the moment I’d say no way! Absolutely no way! Aman, well, he absolutely would. So, I think that is what makes us the perfect team.

But, here we are chugging along ad still in love! We are literally flying by the seat of our pants, but we are having fun, and we have the best people working with us to make this happen.

- Stephanie “Snout” Shields

Naaco’s Gestation Period

After securing funding Aman and I were a bit lost. We knew we had to find food, and merchandise, and equipment, and OH YEAH, a truck and a kitchen! Not to mention, as we went along, the list grew to: a commissary space, a parking spot, a place to dump grey water, a place to store dry goods, a POS system, and someone to do the vinyl wrap (luckily, at this point, we already had the greatest graphic designer on our team)! Were we in over our heads? Probably.

On  top of all this, we were striving to make The Naaco Truck as environmentally friendly as possible. This being something both of us were enthusiastic and passionate about, we definitely found that it made our jobs as entrepreneurs more difficult. We needed to find the most energy efficient appliances we could, we sourced almost all of our food locally and organically, and we had to find compostable or recyclable merchandise. While this wasn’t the easiest, it was more difficult to find ways to go the extra mile, but we have, so there’s tree planting, non-profit supporting, and herb growing on the top of our truck!

In the meantime, we managed to find the greatest team to surround us, and a never-ending list of people that have helped “the pregnancy” along. Without our parents, our friends and family, our suppliers, and everyone else that have offered advice, a helping hand, or just well wishes, we would not be where we are today, which is…well, right on the verge of giving birth to a big orange and purple truck, with delicious eats and the best food truck experience anyone will have in Calgary!

- Stephanie “Snout” Shields

The Conception of Naaco

Sometime along the way, Aman and I started to think of The Naaco Truck as our baby. We joke about it, but honestly, that is truly what it has become. We worry, we stress, sometimes we hate it (parents hate their kids sometimes – well I’m pretty sure), a little bit nervous, a little bit excited, but for the most part, extremely proud.

We returned from our year abroad with a lot of ideas but not a lot of money. So, funny enough, what was nine months ago now, was the beginning of The Naaco Truck. We had tossed around a few names and concepts. We knew we wanted to do Indian, but we weren’t sure how. We both have an intense love for tacos, and well, I am sure you can do the math. And, in the case that you can’t, basically we combined the taco format with Indian food!

The question at this point was really, how? HOW will we do this? Perhaps at that point, and still to this day, the biggest hurdle we have faced is financing. Like I said before, we had little in the funds department when we came back from France, but we had some big ideas. I won’t bore you with the details, but what it came down to was being able to sell Naaco for what it is (awesome), and getting people to believe in us as it’s owners/founders.

And although Aman should take most of the credit (if not all) for securing financing for our baby, I like to give myself credit for being there the entire time through the craziness. Let me tell you folks, raising money for your business is one of the most frustrating, heartbreaking, and discouraging things we have ever done, but also the most rewarding.

- Stephanie “Snout” Shields

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