One local businessman is changing the way he works to set an example for his children and give back to the community.
And so far, he’s on a roll.
Dan Lynch started off 2020 wanting to find a purpose in his life that was fulfilling for himself and one that also set a strong example of hard work for his children. After doing some soul searching, the father of two realized he was most drawn to food and community, and that resulted in him talking to a friend who owned a food truck— which ultimately would be the driving force (literally) in his next business venture.
Lynch’s wife, Kate, helped mold the model for their vehicle—the Roll ‘M Up Food Truck. The duo wanted to put the focus on unique menu items, that also serve up a deeper connection to the Greater Philadelphia region. As of now, those who indulge in the truck’s offerings can choose from a menu of gourmet egg rolls, American style burritos and more.
“We roll to feed your soul,” said Lynch in a statement. “In addition to satisfying our customers, our truck will operate with the goal of helping those who are facing food insecurity. There’s no reason anyone should be hungry. There’s so much food in this world, and somehow people in our own backyards don’t have enough to eat.”
The community aspect comes in the form of a hopeful working relationship with a well-known Philly organization. According to a release, Lynch hopes to form a partnership with Manna on Main Street by collecting and donating non-perishable food items that he collects from his customers at events, as well as from his own kitchen. Manna on Main Street is a nonprofit in the North Penn region committed to ending hunger by providing food, fulfilling social service and education needs, and conducting community outreach to neighbors in need.
Manna has been staying true to its core mission since 1981. In 2020, the organization served 83,118 to-go meals; distributed 761,156 pounds of groceries through 19,000 Market visits; and provided $1,421,632 in emergency financial assistance. In comparison, in 2019 Manna served 38,793 soup kitchen meals; distributed 518,082 pounds of groceries through 8,894 Market visits; and provided $77,346 in emergency financial assistance.
“When I began this journey, I was literally flying by the seat of my pants, but then I engaged a professional chef to help me elevate my recipes and develop a strong operational plan. Chef Keith Taylor quickly took me under his wing and has become a strong mentor. Once I took possession of the truck and started executing the plans I had been developing, I knew that my concept was solid,” said Lynch in a statement. “I realized I had found my passion.”
The 35-year-old will officially put the key in the ignition and begin serving food in February. The food truck will run a nomadic route, setting up shop at various spots throughout Montgomery and Bucks counties with the goal to expand throughout the greater Philadelphia area. Lynch also plans to partner with local businesses and breweries where he can park his truck and offer his menu to a wide variety of people with the hope of creating a fan base that stretches far and wide.
Food-wise, those who patron Roll ‘M Up are in for a treat. The menu consists of an “Egg Roll” section that offers cheesesteak, buffalo chicken and a South Philly creation that combines roast pork, sautéed broccoli rabe and sharp provolone. A “Roll Up” menu featuring grilled wraps such as buffalo chicken, caprese, caesar, rib eye, smashburger, grilled veggie and more; with sides including jalapeno pepper empanadas and creamy mac & cheese. S’Mores empanadas are offered for dessert, and for the kiddos, there will also be a section offering burgers, hot dogs and cheese quesadillas.
The food truck is certainly a family affair—Kate operates behind the scenes to manage the books, the schedule and social media. “My kids are even on board,” Lynch said in his statement. “One of the main reasons I did this was to set an example of hard work for my children. My dad owned his own business, and even though I didn’t see him until late many nights, he worked for us every day. I want to show them it’s OK to work hard for your family, and that’s one reason I’m so committed to this venture. We’re all super excited to get rolling.”