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Real Estate Report: Bringing the food truck indoors

A successful southern Maine food truck is putting down permanent roots in Scarborough.

A successful southern Maine food truck is putting down permanent roots in Scarborough.

Six years after Sarah Sutton and her husband, Karl, served their first lobster roll, this commercial kitchen is turning into a take-out and eat-in spot.

“In renovating the space we tore it down to the studs, we redid the floors, we added a countertop over here for service … We're really excited about it."

The space is almost ready after renovations to get it up to code. Sutton says this would have been nearly impossible without the success of their two food trucks.

The space is almost ready after renovations to get it up to code. Sutton says this would have been nearly impossible without the success of their two food trucks.

“Food trucks offer a lower income bracket to start a business, to figure out your concept, to see what works, what doesn't work,” she said.

This isn't the only business to go from truck to brick-and-mortar. After many years in the restaurant industry, Bill Leavy and Karl Deuben ran the Small Axe Truck for breakfast and lunch before taking over East Ender almost three years ago. It has gone through renovations and a menu revamp.

“It took us to where we were looking to go and I think we could have done it a lot maybe some different ways. But I think it helped for us to get us to where we wanted to go,” Deuben said.

“It feels nice, you know, it's something we've always wanted to do, you know,” Leavy said. “We loved the food truck but that was, you know, just something we had to do at the time because we didn’t have everything ready for a brick and mortar space.”

Bite into Maine will still operate its food trucks during season, but the Suttons can now fill the demand in the winter months too.

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