Billerica, MA: ‘Cluck Truck’ Takes Chicken to the Streets of Billerica

Augusta Market employee Kevin Clark serves up lunch from the new Chicken on the Road gourmet food truck.

By John H. Palmer | WickedLocal.com

Augusta Market employee Kevin Clark serves up lunch from the new Chicken on the Road gourmet food truck.
Augusta Market employee Kevin Clark serves up lunch from the new Chicken on the Road gourmet food truck.

Billerica, Mass. — Minuteman Correspondent Angie Orenstein contributed to this story.

Every good chicken story requires a discussion of why the chicken crossed the road, right?

In order to properly answer the question, one must also explore how the chicken got into the road in the first place. Or, in the case of Billerica’s Augusta Market, you have to answer the question of why the restaurant took their chicken to the road.

The answer is simple: Their customers asked for it.

If you’re a Billerica resident, there’s a good chance you’re among those who consider Augusta, located on Boston Road, to be the best place to get a chicken sandwich or a box full of “chicken bites” and one or two of the signature dipping sauces that go with it.

There’s also a good chance you’ve seen the new “Chicken on the Road” food truck, which debuted in late October and has been stopping in various locations around town, serving chicken to hungry office workers. It’s hard to miss – it’s big, green and yellow, and looks like a huge RV with a giant smiling chicken on the side of it. It even has its own identity on Facebook.

“We’ve wanted to do this for more than a year now,” said Bill Strazziere, who with sister Mary Bishop has been part of the family ownership of Augusta since 1982. “Lots of companies have been trying to get the Boston food trucks to come to the suburbs.”

The “Cluck Truck,” as it has been coined by some of its fans, also carries the distinction of being Billerica’s first gourmet food truck, and follows in the latest trend in gourmet food trucks. The official launch of the truck was supposed to be Oct. 26, but it was delayed because of Hurricane Sandy. When the deli lost electricity, the truck got parked in front, providing instant advertising and fresh chicken for regular customers.

“We really got thrown into it because we lost power,” Bishop said. “This truly is a work in progress.”

Strazziere said he got the idea for the truck while watching a special on the Food Network about food trucks. He traveled to Boston, where he scouted out food trucks and he did some research before deciding to move forward with the idea.

“People have asked us to do delivery in the past, but we never really thought it would work well with our product,” he said, adding that the biggest obstacle was keeping their freshly cooked chicken fresh. “Everything can be cooked on the truck – that way it’s hot and fresh and doesn’t compromise the product.”

It’s no small truck, either. It’s more like a large mobile home, with everything pulled out of it. Instead of living amenities, it contains full stainless-steel kitchen and cooking equipment, with fryers, refrigerators, and triple sinks. An 8,500-watt onboard generator provides electricity for everything. A large serving window with an overhead awning gives customers that food truck feeling. One of the regular locations the truck parks at is the Habitat for Humanity ReStore on Boston Road on Fridays and Saturdays.

“I’m here almost every Saturday,” said Nancy Meuse, a North Billerica resident who said she eats at Augusta’s store but comes to the truck on Saturdays because it’s closer to her home and she passes it when she’s out doing her errands. She said her favorite is the chicken bites.

Billerica resident, Dan Looney and his three-year-old son Patrick also stopped at the truck for chicken bites. He said his family goes to Augusta’s a lot and they love the chicken, but this is only their second time stopping at the truck.

“I think it’s great. They’re going to do a great business,” he said.

He said he recommended they look into parking at the soccer tournaments in town and selling there.

When asked if they’ve eaten at Augusta’s before, Adam Benoit said, “A couple hundred times!” His girlfriend, Vanessa Brum, smiled and added, “He’s obsessed!”

“We were browsing the ReStore and couldn’t pass up chicken cutlets,” Brum said.

She said they’ve both been eating Augusta’s chicken for many years and said the truck is a good idea because it’s convenient for reaching customers on the other side of town.

The Lynch family was trying out the truck for the first time this past Saturday. Taylor and her sons Brody, 5, and Alden, 7, had never eaten Augusta’s chicken before but Taylor’s husband, Ryan, ate at Augusta’s store once before.

“It’s good down there so I’m sure it will be good here,” he said as the family awaited their lunch.

Diane Keefe shivered in the cold Saturday wind as she waited for her two 15-piece chicken bites and sauce.

“My son wanted these for his birthday dinner. We don’t do take out. I cook all the time. It worked for me today instead of running around to the other side of town,” she said.

Keefe said her family enjoys the chicken and that she first discovered them when she worked on Crosby Drive and her coworkers would go to Augusta’s for lunch. “It’s excellent!”

George Dailey of North Billerica says he follows the Augusta chicken truck on Facebook and he has ordered from them in Lexington and at the Billerica Forum. He said his favorite is the Cajun cutlet and he also likes the chicken bites.

“I even had them cater my bachelor party,” he said.

Every good chicken story requires a discussion of why the chicken crossed the road, right?

In order to properly answer the question, one must also explore how the chicken got into the road in the first place. Or, in the case of Billerica’s Augusta Market, you have to answer the question of why the restaurant took their chicken to the road.

The answer is simple: Their customers asked for it.

If you’re a Billerica resident, there’s a good chance you’re among those who consider Augusta, located on Boston Road, to be the best place to get a chicken sandwich or a box full of “chicken bites” and one or two of the signature dipping sauces that go with it.

There’s also a good chance you’ve seen the new “Chicken on the Road” food truck, which debuted in late October and has been stopping in various locations around town, serving chicken to hungry office workers. It’s hard to miss – it’s big, green and yellow, and looks like a huge RV with a giant smiling chicken on the side of it. It even has its own identity on Facebook.

“We’ve wanted to do this for more than a year now,” said Bill Strazziere, who with sister Mary Bishop has been part of the family ownership of Augusta since 1982. “Lots of companies have been trying to get the Boston food trucks to come to the suburbs.”

The “Cluck Truck,” as it has been coined by some of its fans, also carries the distinction of being Billerica’s first gourmet food truck, and follows in the latest trend in gourmet food trucks. The official launch of the truck was supposed to be Oct. 26, but it was delayed because of Hurricane Sandy. When the deli lost electricity, the truck got parked in front, providing instant advertising and fresh chicken for regular customers.

“We really got thrown into it because we lost power,” Bishop said. “This truly is a work in progress.”

Strazziere said he got the idea for the truck while watching a special on the Food Network about food trucks. He traveled to Boston, where he scouted out food trucks and he did some research before deciding to move forward with the idea.

“People have asked us to do delivery in the past, but we never really thought it would work well with our product,” he said, adding that the biggest obstacle was keeping their freshly cooked chicken fresh. “Everything can be cooked on the truck – that way it’s hot and fresh and doesn’t compromise the product.”

It’s no small truck, either. It’s more like a large mobile home, with everything pulled out of it. Instead of living amenities, it contains full stainless-steel kitchen and cooking equipment, with fryers, refrigerators, and triple sinks. An 8,500-watt onboard generator provides electricity for everything. A large serving window with an overhead awning gives customers that food truck feeling. One of the regular locations the truck parks at is the Habitat for Humanity ReStore on Boston Road on Fridays and Saturdays.

“I’m here almost every Saturday,” said Nancy Meuse, a North Billerica resident who said she eats at Augusta’s store but comes to the truck on Saturdays because it’s closer to her home and she passes it when she’s out doing her errands. She said her favorite is the chicken bites.

Billerica resident, Dan Looney and his three-year-old son Patrick also stopped at the truck for chicken bites. He said his family goes to Augusta’s a lot and they love the chicken, but this is only their second time stopping at the truck.

“I think it’s great. They’re going to do a great business,” he said.

He said he recommended they look into parking at the soccer tournaments in town and selling there.

When asked if they’ve eaten at Augusta’s before, Adam Benoit said, “A couple hundred times!” His girlfriend, Vanessa Brum, smiled and added, “He’s obsessed!”

“We were browsing the ReStore and couldn’t pass up chicken cutlets,” Brum said.

She said they’ve both been eating Augusta’s chicken for many years and said the truck is a good idea because it’s convenient for reaching customers on the other side of town.

The Lynch family was trying out the truck for the first time this past Saturday. Taylor and her sons Brody, 5, and Alden, 7, had never eaten Augusta’s chicken before but Taylor’s husband, Ryan, ate at Augusta’s store once before.

“It’s good down there so I’m sure it will be good here,” he said as the family awaited their lunch.

Diane Keefe shivered in the cold Saturday wind as she waited for her two 15-piece chicken bites and sauce.

“My son wanted these for his birthday dinner. We don’t do take out. I cook all the time. It worked for me today instead of running around to the other side of town,” she said.

Keefe said her family enjoys the chicken and that she first discovered them when she worked on Crosby Drive and her coworkers would go to Augusta’s for lunch. “It’s excellent!”

George Dailey of North Billerica says he follows the Augusta chicken truck on Facebook and he has ordered from them in Lexington and at the Billerica Forum. He said his favorite is the Cajun cutlet and he also likes the chicken bites.

“I even had them cater my bachelor party,” he said.

http://www.wickedlocal.com/billerica/news/x1503805017/Cluck-Truck-takes-chicken-to-the-streets-of-Billerica#axzz2Iu0lvtEQ