Phoenix is home to a wide array of food trucks; these are their stories. To read the last installment of the Phoenix Food Trucks series, click here.
A 6-foot-2-inch woman wearing gold wings and antennas stands in front of a black-and-yellow food truck on Friday afternoons behind the Phoenix New Times building.
She mingles with the customers as they wait in line to order soul food with an international twist. Her husband works inside, taking orders and creating the cuisine.
He’s Buzz and she’s Bee – together they own and run the food truck Buzznbeez.
Christian Buze, now “Chef Buzz,” worked as a sales manager at a car business for the last 15 years, but he felt “burnt out.”
He watched Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race” and realized he didn’t enjoy being at his job, despite the paycheck.
“I was talking to Bee, and every day I complained about my job more and more and said how I wanted to run a food truck,” Buze said. “She said, ‘Hey, why don’t you just go and do it?’”
Now Buze runs Buzznbeez with his wife, Beatrice, or “Bee,” who is also the operations manager and markets the truck and its food to the community.
Buze got his foundation in soul food as a kid when he helped out at his grandmother’s Phoenix diner, Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Café.
Beatrice wanted to add some international flavor to the cuisine. The couple compromised – in addition to fried chicken and catfish po’boys, the food truck offers curry and jasmine rice.
The truck appears at 12th and Jefferson streets from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays as part of an alliance between the Phoenix New Times and the Phoenix Street Food Coalition.
It also makes an appearance at the Phoenix Public Market on Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Buze said he tries to earn about $100 an hour whenever he goes to downtown Phoenix streets or to food-truck events. With his catering business, Buze can make $100 to $1,667 at an event.
A schedule of Buzznbeez events can be seen on its website.
Buze said the lines “aren’t crazy yet” at the New Times parking-lot location for the Friday Food Truck Meet Up, but the number of customers has steadily increased each week.
Amy Donohue, 41, attended one Friday and had the catfish po’boy. She said she couldn’t finish the massive sandwich, but she enjoyed what she did eat.
“It was messy, it was gooey, it was good,” Donohue said. “The coleslaw and spicy sauce was delicious.”
Buze said the small water capacity and limited space to work are the biggest disadvantages of working in a food truck. However, he enjoys the flexibility of the menu, the ability to buy more from local farmers and the freedom of traveling.
“That’s one thing about a restaurant, you’re in a fixed location and they have to come to you,” Buze said. “With a food truck, you can go to them.”
Family is a big part of Buze’s life. In his free time, Buze enjoys spending time with his children and relaxing. The lessons he learned while helping out at his grandmother’s Golden Rule Café have carried over to how he runs his food truck.
“My life motto is to do unto others what you want done unto you,” Buze said. “With our food truck, we want to give the same service we’d get if we went to a restaurant or different food truck.”
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