Couple’s recipe for rural living found in food truck

Print Article

Keith and Katie Poe in front of their Saucy Dogs food truck at their home in Trego on Tuesday. (Aaric Bryan/Daily Inter Lake)

When Keith and Katie Poe contemplated the best way to make a living that allowed them to raise their family on Katie’s great-grandfather’s homestead in Trego, sausage became their savior.

The Poes are in the fourth summer of taking their Saucy Dogs food truck on the road. The popular food trailer is a staple at area farmers markets where they serve up locally made gourmet sausages and bratwurst.

Their weekly route includes the Whitefish Farmers Market on Tuesday evenings, Eureka on Wednesdays and the Columbia Falls Community Market on Thursdays.

Locally sourced products figure heavily into Saucy Dogs’ menu. The sausage is made by Perfect Cuts in Columbia Falls; hoagie buns come from Ceres Bakery in Kalispell and Wheat Montana supplies the hot-dog buns.

Their draft root beer is from Great Northern Brewing Co. in Whitefish, and is paired with local Sweet Peaks ice cream for root-beer floats.

“Local is our thing,” Keith said. He makes all of his condiments from scratch.

Katie works the food truck alongside Keith on the farmers market circuit and at other events. Fortuitously, her mother, Melanie Chinn, lives next door in Trego in the original log cabin in which five generations of the Vizzutti family have lived. The Poes are able to drop their young son and daughter off at grandma’s as they head down the road to their next event.

Larger special events such as the Montana Dragon Boat Festival, Spartan Race, Bigfork Whitewater Festival, The Event at Rebecca Farm and the Craft Beer Relay in Bigfork also help the couple keep their business going. During the winter months, Keith is a ski instructor at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

It was perhaps inevitable that the Poes would wind up in the food business in a place like Trego, in close proximity to a ski resort.

Keith grew up in Ellensburg, Washington, and was well-versed in restaurant work before he earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in restaurant supervision from the Maui Culinary Academy.

“I’ve been working in [restaurant] kitchens since I was 15,” he said.

Keith met Katie, of Enumclaw, Washington, at Crystal Mountain Ski Resort where they were both employed in a fine-dining restaurant. Katie, who attended the University of Montana, had fond memories of spending time in Trego during her childhood when her grandfather lived on the property that at one time included hundreds of acres where Christmas trees were harvested.

When it came time to find a place to put down roots, they moved to Trego 10 years ago, first living in the original log cabin before building their own home four years ago.

“It was always a magical place to me growing up,” Katie said, surveying the open meadows surrounded by forestland.

The challenge was finding a way to make a living and be able to live in Trego, about 37 miles northwest of Whitefish. Driving to Whitefish for a $12-an-hour restaurant job just wasn’t cutting it, Keith said.

“On a Sunday drive we tried to come up with a concept of what would be profitable,” he recalled.

Saucy Dogs is what emerged from that Sunday afternoon contemplation. The couple started their mobile food truck at nearby HA Brewing Co. before taking the gourmet dogs on the road.

The Poes have been working together ever since they met 12 years ago and married seven years ago. The teamwork has created a viable business that enables them to live in the rural setting they cherish.

As Keith simply puts it: “We jive.”

Features editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or lhintze@dailyinterlake.com.

Print Article

Read More Local

Popular steakhouse marks 25th anniversary

October 07, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Daily Inter Lake There are two kinds of family at Spencer & Co. Steakhouse, owner Paula Davey aptly points out. “There’s the family you’re born into, and the Spencer family,” she said. And to Davey and her moth...

Comments

Read More

Glacier Bancorp tops number of SBA loans approved last year

October 07, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Daily Inter Lake Glacier Bancorp, headquartered in Kalispell, made the largest number of U.S. Small Business Administration guaranteed loans during the fiscal year from Oct. 1, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2017. The entir...

Comments

Read More

Brooklyn Rolls expands to Kalispell

October 01, 2017 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake John Ryan grew up in the kitchen — an Italian kitchen, to be exact. As a child, his babysitters were “great Italian mothers,” and from them he learned about the art of good food. “My favorite Ita...

Comments

Read More

Flathead Manufacturing Month schedule announced

September 24, 2017 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake A variety of tours to local manufacturing companies, plus a career path development seminar and timber industry tour will unfold during Flathead Manufacturing Month in Oct. Some tours will not acc...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2017 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X