DipStik, a fondue food van, rolls out the cheese and chocolate
Your parents always warned you not to take candy from anyone in a van, but ordering fondue from a friendly couple in a lime-green, converted VW van is not only safe, it's highly recommended.
J. Wohletz Taylor and Krystianne Vaughn -- poking up from the DipStik van.
Taylor and Krystianne Vaughn have figured out a way to make gooey melted cheese and velvety melted chocolate mobile with DipStik, Denver's new -- and only -- fondue food truck.
One recent afternoon, the Vaughns were setting up for business around 4 p.m. outside Great Divide Brewing Company. They already had a group of customers waiting on the sidewalk, and a few looky-loos scoping out the menu on the side of the van. "We have an agreement with these guys," Taylor said. "They give us a few beers and we feed their staff."
J. Wohletz The DipStik VW van -- front view.
DipStik officially opened for business on June 23 -- but the couple had the van before they decided what to do with it.
She trailed off as Taylor added, "Probably not the best idea in the world, but a food truck -- better plan."
They used Kickstarter to raise $13,700 to soup up the van and embark upon the great work of bringing fondue to the masses. "We lost track of how much more we put into it," said Krystianne. "We probably spent about $17,000 altogether."
The truck is not self-contained: The couple prepares everything in a commissary kitchen, then serves it from the truck, in compliance with Denver rules. "We can't even cut a piece of broccoli in it," laughed Krystianne.
The van is definitely not as spacious as a traditional food truck, but the two manage to serve the food -- and not trample each other -- with the extra room they get when they pop the top of the van. "See!" said Taylor. "We have a topless restaurant!"
J. Wohletz Parmesan-pesto fondue with all the fixins.
There isn't much room for storage, either, which jives with their philosophy of serving everything fresh; any leftovers they have at the end of the night is donated to the Denver Rescue Mission.