On The Fly
On The Fly
The skinny on On The Fly.
On The Fly was formed in early 2007 in an effort to fill a void that needed to be filled in DC; fresh, local food options that can be found on the street, in the metro, or even in your gym. On The Fly was born and they haven't looked back since. The company's platform runs on ecovending; socially responsible vending of local and health foods through zero-emission plug-in carts. Food is sourced locally, packaged in ecofriendly wrap, and hand delivered to patrons with a smile. Meals are served hot, made with natural, organic, and chemical free ingredients. While the idea is "fresh local fun," the food is really good and better for our planet. With a little bit of luck, watch out for On The Fly in your closest major city come 2010.
Chatting with Todd Cavaluzzi of On The Fly.
Q: Best street food city outside of DC?
A: Los Angeles… or Thailand.
Q: Coolest gig you’ve catered?
A: Washington, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty’s birthday party last year – think black tie and green SmartKarts!
Q: How are the SmartKarts powered?
A: By the energy and positive vibes from our employees! OK- Actually, it’s a little more techie than that… The drivetrain is powered by electricity - it just takes a standard 110 volt plug right from a wall outlet - and the mobile kafe on the back is powered by electricity, when it’s available from a wall outlet, or by unleaded gasoline when its not. So our SmartKarts either operate as 100% electric vehicles or as hybrids.
Q: Favorite new local food company you work with?
A: DC’s own Comet Ping Pong Pizza and Chix Chicken eateries.
Q: Where do you see On The Fly in 5 years?
A: “World domination or Bust” baby! Franchised electric vehicle SmartKarts in major cities nationwide… then worldwide!
Q: What environmental organizations do you work with?
A: Envirelation Composting Company to help us compost our food prep, production waste, and the post-consumer waste from our food packaging.
Q: Favorite eco-friendly websites and blogs?
A: Mind Body Green, Open Restaurant, and Mother Nature Network.
Q: What vegetarian food options do you offer?
A: Vegan empanadas sourced from a local bakery (Julia's Empanadas) made with fresh vegetables that change weekly. Think squash, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, tomatoes, you get the idea. Veggie tacos (beans, squash, corn, tomatoes, onions, served with a cabbage and carrot coleslaw with vinegar (no mayo) in a soft flour taco, topped with salsa, a fat-free crema chipotle sauce and a lime. And Mac & Cheese - a healthier version of the stand-by comfort food made with lower-fat parmesan cheese as well as aged cheddar.
Q: Has the president had a taste of On The Fly yet?
A: Not yet, but we’re trying!
Q: How can this business concept cross over outside of street food?
A: We currently have three SmartKafes (two in museums/art galleries - the Phillips Collection and the Corcoran Gallery) and a drop-off as well as full-service catering operation.
Q: Where do you source your ingredients from?
A: Local small and medium sized companies, as well as large organic/natural and mainstream food companies.
Q: Do the hot dog vendors give you dirty looks when you drive by?
A: We’ve had a long and colorful history with the DC hot dog vendors. All you need to do is Google On The Fly and hot dog vendors and you’ll see what I mean, but now we are all about to work together to help DC craft new, more progressive vending regulations.
Q: Dream celebrity company spokesperson?
A: Alice Waters (proprietor of Chez Panisse, famous California natural, sustainable, organic foods restaurant).
Q: More likely future On The Fly menu item: Cupcakes or Moon Pies?
A: Cupcakes with all-natural locally-sourced cream-cheese frosting and fair-trade certified chocolate chips inside… I’m making myself hungry…
Q: Have you talked with Michelle Obama about purchasing some vegetables & herbs from her garden for On The Fly?
A: Not yet but we’re still trying to get a SmartKart located right outside the White House front gates. Wish us luck!
Q: What are some easy green lifestyle things anyone can do?
A: Ditch the chain supermarkets - shop at local farms, farmers markets, grocers, and use a farm-share/CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) to get your vegetables. It’s fresher, tastes better and often cheaper than supermarkets! Bike to work. DC has a new pilot program to help commuters do this. Try creating your own one-person pilot program! Unplug every plug in your house for every appliance that you are not using. You’ll be surprised how much electricity you can save in a year!
The Top 5 Best Things About Working At On The Fly
5. The tons of attention you get while driving a SmartKart (except when cops keep pulling you over to ask about the SmartKart)
4. The positive energy you get from consumers who recognize the earth-friendly aspects of the electric SmartKarts
3. Working with local food vendors to help the local economy and support the locavore foods movement
2. Coming up with new potential menu ideas - like the Mohito & Lime Marinated Chicken Sandwich and then getting to sample them all!
1. Knowing you are helping the environment while making delicious and natural food convenient and accessible for everyone!
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