By Kathryn Casey, Island Eye News Staff Writer
As the trend of food trucks sweeps the Lowcountry, Charleston welcomes a unique bakery on wheels to its already illustrious collection of mobile restaurants. Sweet Lulu’s Bakery, owned by Karen Moran, is a community and philanthropy-focused food truck that will soon be cruising the streets of the Charleston. Moran, along with her 3-year-old hound dog, Lulu, will drive around town in a pick up truck and trailer selling desserts in mason jars.
Born from her time living in the beach communities of Sullivan’s and Isle of Palms, Moran found that transporting desserts in mason jars was a typically Southern and easy way to bring desserts to the beach.
“The thing is,” says Moran, “it is difficult to transport desserts to the beach. Ice cream can melt, whipped cream can get sticky and spill out of a container. I would just haphazardly put things in mason jars, they were so convent to just grab and go.”
Lulu’s signature mason jars are filled with every type of delectable delight any beach goer could wish for. From strawberry shortcake to red velvet cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, the dessert menu is focused around seasonal Southern treats. Now based on John’s Island, the hub of the Charleston-area’s farmland, Moran uses locally grown products. She is currently considering adding chickens to her own 90 acres so she can use her own eggs in her recipes. As well as treats for humans, Moran also makes ice cream for dogs, and plans to donate the profits from it to Charleston Pet Helpers.
Moran has owned many furry friends that came from shelters and was devastated to learn about the striking number of animals that are put down every year in shelters. According to the Humane Society, a healthy, adoptable animal is put down every 11 seconds in the United States. Saving Lulu from being one of these statistics is her motivation to donate the doggie ice cream proceeds to these shelters. “Lulu rescued me as much as I rescued her,” says Moran. After losing two furry kids in one week, Moran adopted Lulu. Although Moran didn’t know if she was ready to love another animal so soon after her heartache, it was puppy love at first sight for these two.
All the plans for Sweet Lulu’s Bakery on Wheels are in place, but Moran is still waiting to become an owner of the actual truck. To help kick start her business, Moran has taken to the Internet. She hopes to become Charleston’s most successful Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign led by a woman.
“While online crowd-funding has been around for quite sometime,” Moran says. “Lowcountry entrepreneurs don’t appear to be taking advantage of this excellent resource.
“My goal is to raise much needed start-up funds via Indiegogo to open Sweet Lulu’s Bakery on Wheels.”
The campaign started May 27 and runs through July 26. She hopes to raise $20,000 toward renovating a vintage pick-up truck and trailer to be used as the area’s only mason jar mobile bakery. Funding for the project starts at $7 and goes up to $1,500, in return you will receive your choice of “reward,” from sweet treats delivered to your door to the opportunity to become a partner in the business. While the bakery will focus primarily on catering, the truck will enable Moran to drive throughout the Charleston area bringing her treats to everyone. Moran is also looking for a spot on Sullivan’s Island to park the truck and serve her mason jar desserts to those heading to the beach.
To help Moran or find out more about the project visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/charleston-mason-jar-mobile-bakery. If you can’t wait for Sweet Lulu’s Bakery to get rolling you can sample her creations at Sweet Lulu’s Dessert & Craft Beer Tasting Party 5-7 p.m., August 7, at Frothy Beard Brewery.