Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Treats Truck


Treats lovers in all zip codes had better watch out! This week I had a chance to catch up with Kim Ima, owner and operator of The Treats Truck, a mobile bakery that is catering to the city’s sweet tooth, one neighborhood at a time. Ima and a team of eight staff members bake up creations such as oatmeal jammies, chocolate chippers, and cran almond crispies in their Red Hook kitchen and then load them onto a full-service, roving truck that they call Sugar.

She has a long list of “standards” that would be more aptly named, “incredibles.” This list includes several variations of oatmeal cookies and chocolate chip cookies. Its features rice krispy treats and myriad brownies. Ima also stocks the truck with bakery specials like lemon cookies, coconut raspberry squares, kitchen sink cookies, and fig and date cookies. The craziest treat she’s made thus far has been a pb & j cake sandwich, in which layers of peanut butter frosting and jelly are inlaid between moist cake—the bread of the sandwich! Yum!

caramel cream sandwich.
The Treats Truck is gaining so many die-hard followers, that Ima has started to crown a Customer of the Month. She features the C.O.T.M on the side of the truck! She also displays her treats in a showcase window and invites New Yorkers roaming the pavement to come under the awning for a sample. The customers are her favorite part of her profession as sweets baker and distributor.

Currently, her favorite treat is the caramel cream sandwich, and it was the favorite of this author as well. Another favorite was the sugar dot, a bite-size sugar cookie covered in white icing and topped with rainbow sprinkles. It’s the perfect pick-me-up whether you’ve been shopping in SoHo or working in Midtown all day. And, with the Treats Truck extensive coverage of the city, you can have that dot at either time! Check out the website to see if the truck will be in your neighborhood on any given day, and prepare for the sugar rush. Lately, she’s been parking on Bond Street, on 38th and Fifth, in Lincoln Center, and in the Lower East Side.

If her treats and the hear-say of her popularity aren’t enough to make a Sugar-truck patron out of you, then just hear about her environmental savvy-ness. The Treats Truck runs on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), a cleaner fuel alternative. This stance Ima takes on the truck extends to her treats, as she uses only the highest quality ingredients and organic ones when she deems it meaningful (for example, she insists on using organic peanut butter).
Ima bakes up creations such as chocolate chip brownie with nuts, chocolate chippers, and cran almond crispies in their Red Hook kitchen and then loads them onto their roving truck called Sugar.
sugar dot, a bite-size sugar cookie covered in white icing and topped with rainbow sprinkles.
A healthy serving of chocolate chippers.
She also features a charity of the month to which she gives 10% of her profit. In July, she gave to Riverkeeper, which protects the Hudson River and its tributaries from pollution. New York City gets almost all of its tap water from the Hudson so Ima thinks it an important charity to donate to; in previous months, she’s given to other New York focused charities.

Ima has big plans for the Treats Truck. She looks forward to the holidays on the truck when she will feature specials like Halloween and Thanksgiving goodies. She can’t wait to incorporate little apple and pumpkin pies into her roster of addictive roadside show stoppers. By the spring, she’ll likely have a second truck roaming the city streets looking for sugar starved New Yorkers. And, while a storefront won’t be as neighborhood-versatile as her trucks, Ima plans on setting up shop just as soon as she finds the right space.

Treats Truck schedule for week of Aug 1 - Aug 5

Wed, August 1 — 38th and Fifth Ave. 12-6pm
Thurs, August 2 — 38th and Fifth Ave. 12-5pm
Fri, August 3 — 38th and Fifth Ave. 12-6pm
Sat, August 4 — 79th and Columbus/Eve: TBA. 11am-4pm.
Sun, August 5 — TBA

Click here for updates or call 212-691-5226.

"When not scooping the latest for NYSD, Jill Donenfeld heads up The Dish's Dishes, a personal chef and catering company founded for those who crave delicious food without the hassle of making reservations, ordering in, or turning on the oven. For more information on how to get your first DISH, check out www.TheDishsDishes.com