At Fluid Truck, we are liberating small businesses from the restrictions of vehicle ownership and traditional rental shops. We help them slash their overhead costs and reach their full potential. No two days are ever the same here; the diverse small businesses we serve keep us busy and inspired.
This is why we’ve decided to shine a headlight on some of the incredible small businesses who use Fluid Truck. Keep reading to learn the story of one of our fantastic small business customers.
Meet Pauly’s Pretzels of New York City
Think back to the beginning of the pandemic. Half of people you know were creating sourdough starters and the other half were attempting that whipped coffee trend. Some extra-industrious folks, like Paul of Pauly’s Pretzels, turned their quarantine baking obsessions into full-fledged businesses with the help of Fluid Truck.
Paul Thomas hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where the soft pretzel is as iconic as the bagel is to New York City. “Nobody does a pretzel like the Philly pretzel,” Paul boasts. Sure, you can find soft pretzels on hotdog carts in NYC. However, they’re usually mass-produced, often frozen, and lack flavor.
Though Paul is an IT engineer by day, he’s also a passionate foodie – especially when it comes to the pretzels of Philly. Paul grew up with a friend whose father ran a pretzel company that was an unfortunate victim of 2020. The business was failing. The now New York City-local swooped in to help. “I didn’t want them to go under. They’re the bomb!” So, he took the leap of starting his own business to bring the Philly pretzel legacy to New York. He told his friend, “Don’t put out the fire. I want to bring that fire to New York City.”
Through trial and error, Paul worked out the famous and iconic Philly pretzel recipe in his own home kitchen. Once he landed on the perfect recipe, he began selling his pretzels out of a friend’s local restaurant. In spring of 2021, he worked his way up to baking his pretzels in a small, shared kitchen. Here, he could grow his pretzel operation to produce a few hundred pretzels to deliver on the weekends.
“I was looking to just serve my neighborhood to start. I would fit a couple hundred pretzels in my car to deliver,” Paul says about the beginnings of his side-hustle. He started by delivering pretzels to folks in his neighborhood on Saturdays during the summer.
After his friends and neighbors tasted the unique flavor of his fresh pretzels, Paul’s orders skyrocketed. People went from ordering a couple of pretzels, to ordering a couple dozen. His car was no longer suitable as a delivery vehicle. “How many people do you know order a dozen pretzels?!” Paul exclaims with pride. “But that’s what I was working with! People just started to rave about them. I was excited, because I knew the flavor was the best.” When the orders rapidly increased, that’s where Fluid Truck came in.
Fluid Truck was there when Paul needed an affordable and convenient way to ‘bring pretzels to the people,’ the very mission of his business.
“I wanted to try to run as easily as possible without going broke,” Paul says. “Fluid Truck has nice looking vans and plenty of space. That’s where you start! It’s been fantastic, and David [Fluid Truck’s NYC sales manager] has been ready and able whenever I need. He’s been a great fan too!” Paul even created special Hanukkah pretzels for David in December 2021.
For small businesses that don’t want to spend the overhead on their own delivery vehicles, Fluid Truck is the perfect solution. With vehicles in most major cities across the United States, business owners everywhere can find vehicles near them to rent at the touch of a button. If the thought of waiting in line at a traditional rental company gives you the heebie-jeebies, you’re not alone. With rental car shortages the U.S. experienced in 2021, it’s a tough time to rely on rentals. With Fluid Truck, renting a commercial vehicle is seamless and easy. Just download the app or visit the website to get started.
Fluid Truck was the perfect option for Paul as he grew his business from the ground up. Without the restrictive contracts that most rental companies insist on, Fluid Truck allowed him to rent a truck only when he needed it, quickly and easily. It was the perfect way to transform his passion project into an actual business. Next, Paul hopes to bring his pretzels to the rest of the country by partnering with an existing bakery that has the capacity to supply stores across the United States.
Paul has sage advice for other small business owners looking to turn their passion into an actual income stream:
“Always keep the faith. Have a good vision for where you want to be. If you don't know where you're going and why, it's really easy to give up. Sometimes the emotional thing comes over you and you’ll ask yourself, "why am I doing this thing?" Then when the dust settles, it's fine and you remember the next day. But if you didn't start out with the vision, you start doubting yourself. You don't need that! Have strong convictions.”
“The burning why? For me, it's a legacy for my children.” Paul speaks fondly of working together with his 23-year-old son over the summer to grow the business and spend quality time together in the bakery.
If you’re a business owner who is struggling with expanding your ability to deliver your product to a larger audience, consider Fluid Truck as an option to expand. With 100% mobile booking, everything can be done on your phone. You can easily rent a vehicle to bring your products to the people, just like Pauly.