After getting over the initial shock of being awakened by a loud crashing noise during a storm Monday morning, Hillary Sawyer and Ben Mitchell are counting their blessings.
Their Speakcheesy food truck and its tow vehicle, an older model Chevy Tahoe, sustained serious damage when a mammoth old tree blew over in a strong gust of wind.
It could have been worse; the tree could have toppled onto their carriage house apartment, but it went in the opposite direction. After Sawyer heard the loud noise, she pulled back the curtains and saw the tree had landed on the food truck and their vehicle.
“We were really lucky. We had just finished our last event of the year,” Sawyer said.
The two had worked a wedding at Barnsley Resort on Saturday night and the next event they had booked is in the spring festival season — which won’t get started until March. They’ve had a couple of inquiries about potential events between now and then, but nothing solid.
The good news is that interior damage to the food truck was minimal.
“But any repairs we make or modifications that might be needed will mean that we have to get reinspected, and that takes time,” Sawyer said.
Her husband said the tongue that connects to the tow vehicle was pretty badly damaged and until the tree is removed, he won’t know how much damage was done to the axle and frame of the food truck. The generator was also heavily damaged.
As with any small business owner, finances are always a concern. Sawyer said she feels like they won’t be able to get anywhere near the full replacement value for the food truck or the Tahoe
“I got one of the very best deals I’ve found on a fully functioning and license-able concession trailer. My heart is broken,” Sawyer said in a post on her Facebook page.
They may have to resort to a GoFundMe page to raise some funds to fill in the gap they expect will be left by the insurance coverage.
“There’s really no way we can survive without the funds the truck brings in for us,” Sawyer said.
The couple also operates a gastropub on the second floor of the Rome City Brewing Co. building, 333 Broad St.
“We’re lucky we have that,” Sawyer added.