PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — One thing that has stood out during the pandemic-related shutdowns and stay at home orders is people’s increased appetite for sweets.
Petunia’s Pies and Pastries has been a fixture near Southwest 12th and Alder for a decade. The driving force behind the shop is baker Lisa Clark — who has wanted to start what she calls a “Treat Truck” for many years. As the pandemic tightened its grip in May, Lisa decided to spring her plan into action.
In the several weeks since the launch of the Petunia’s Treat Truck, it has been greeted with open arms. Long lines of people craving vegan and gluten-free treats have swarmed the truck wherever it has parked — surprising even the woman who conceived the idea.
“People always like treats, so in that sense, I picked a good business to start,” Lisa said. “People always want a treat — they always want sweets when things are going well or when things are not going well.”
The truck finally came to life as a response to the virus, which has affected the retail business at Petunia’s in downtown Portland. Every Thursday they decide on a neighborhood, drive the truck there and cater to the sweet tooth of people in that neighborhood for Friday and Saturday. In the truck, they carry all the regular treats from the bakery, including gluten-free vegan desserts, classic cookies, bars, cupcakes, doughnuts and ice cream.
“Our sales have been really, really good,” Lisa said. “I would say each day we go out we sell at least as much or more as we sell at the bakery in a whole entire day being open for eight hours.”
For now, the truck operates on Friday and Saturday only in a neighborhood that’s posted on Petunia’s website in advance. However, the success of the truck has demonstrated to Lisa the truck is here to stay — it may be on the road more frequently in the coming months.