When this Topeka couple's camper broke down, Dj's Catering food truck was born
Dan Berthiaume and Jessica Brockstedt always planned to operate a food truck but thought the opportunity would present itself later in life.
Then Berthiaume lost his job in 2021, and the family's pop-up camper broke down.
"So we decided to turn it into a food truck," Berthiaume said.
The Topeka couple found the silver lining.
Berthiaume reconstructed and painted the camper and with the help of stimulus money, the camper now serves as Dj's Catering food truck.
The food truck serves hot dogs, nachos and a chili bowl with a focus on using local ingredients and products.
"Our meat comes from Fanestil Meats over in Emporia. Our buns come from Roxy's Bakery in North Topeka. We use Porubsky's hot pickles," Berthiaume said.
The food truck's specialty is the Frank 'n Swine hot dog, which is made with barbeque pulled pork, bacon and coleslaw.
Dj's Catering also serves classic and Coney hot dogs.
"It's very rewarding what we do," Berthiaume said. "We enjoy it, and everybody who has eaten one of our hot dogs loves it. We are doing something right."
The food truck sets up about four days a week at varying locations in Topeka and Shawnee County. The business posts on its Facebook page — Dj's Catering — where the food truck will set up.
The food truck will be at Silver Lake's 150th anniversary event June 25 and 26.
Berthiaume said the community's support has been unbelievable and vital in the food truck's success so far.
Even other businesses who specialize in similar menu items have been supportive of the food truck, Berthiaume said.
"We typically go to the smaller areas with the small business owners where they refer us to other people," Brockstedt said. "It's awesome. It's a whole network of small business people helping out small business people.
"It's nice to see everybody eating your hot dogs."
Berthiaume said one of the most rewarding moments so far occurred when the food truck set up recently in the NOTO Arts and Entertainment District.
"We had just finished with a little bit of a rush, about 20 people in a row," Berthiaume said. "I had to walk out to get the flag because we were closing down, and when I walked back, there was 20 people sitting there enjoying our food.
"That was huge and that meant a lot."