Joe Rush

by Terry Watson | September 20th, 2021
Joe Rush

Joe Rush

For most business owners, their success is often determined by the quality of their products, the level of service offered to their customers. If both of these are superior, their relationships with their customer base will span a lifetime. This is part of the story for Joe Rush, owner of Joe The Cart Guy.

Joe Rush is a self-made entrepreneur and family man, and father who loves to inspire others around him. Based in Richmond, Va, Joe The Cart Guy focuses on building original Food Trucks and Food Trailers. They also specialize in the (all-electric) trailer, something that Joe invented. They also sell restaurant equipment and cater to first-time entrepreneurs, many of who are just beginning their journey in the food industry.

Being a native of the Richmond community, Joe started his business out of desperation. He shares, “After many years of working dead-end jobs and not ever having any progress, I decided to make a change. I needed a job but didn’t have any luck with finding one. However, one day I met a chatty food cart vendor at a gas station by chance. The guy gave me some good advice, but most of all inspired me to jump into the industry. I was sold, and from then on, I set my eyes on having a food cart. I built my first one, and the response was great. Soon I was building and selling them so often that it turned into a business for me, and now here I am, Joe The Cart Guy.”

Some of the products offered by Joe are the Basic Food truck Trailer, Standard, and Fully Loaded. There is also the Porched Trailer and Big Boy. Each trailer is fully enclosed, and all of them except the Basic series come equipped with a Fire Suppression System and are priced beginning at $15,900.

There is steep contrast between the Basic system and The Big Boy. With the Basic Trailer, the features are a 6×12 fully enclosed food trailer, with FRP fire Retardant Walls, Fully Self Contained Three Compartment Sinks (handwash sink included), Vinyl Flooring With Baseboard Cove, Stainless Steel Equipment Table, 120V Full Electric Service with 30 amp, with no additional equipment included. Joe says this cart is suggested to be used for a Coffee Cart or Ice Cream business.

The Big Boy Trailer is a 7×16 fully enclosed food trailer. It has FRP fire Retardant Walls, Fully Self Contained Three Compartment Sinks And Hand Wash Sink, Chrome Treadplate Flooring, Chrome Stainless Backsplash, 24 Inch Commercial Griddle Lpg, 40 Pound Floor Standing Commercial Fryers, Ten Cubic Foot Full Size Fridge, 27 Inch Refrigerated Prep Table, Fullsize Commercial Food Warmer, Six Burner Full Size Oven, Fire Suppression System, 8-foot Customer Ventilated Hood, Propane Tanks (mounted and installed), Stainless Steel Equipment Table, 120v Upgraded Full Service Electric Service, 700-watt Microwave on the custom shelf, Bluetooth Ceiling mounted speakers, LED Interior Lighting, Exterior LED Lighting, Custom Cabinetry over the sink area, Full-Color Logo (front and rear), and 13.5k BTU Ceiling Mounted A/C. This is a turn-key unit designed for clients with high volume.

Additionally, Joe offers a very innovative lease program that helps his clients get started with little money down. “These things are inherently expensive, so we try to make these as affordable as possible,” he says.

Joe has a genuine passion for what he does and has set out to help as many people get started in his industry as possible. “I have strived to make the best quality and most innovative food trailers as possible. I also have committed to making the trailers affordable, to make accessible to everyone. I not only make a good product, but I price them for thousands less,” he says.

Joe says he also loves the opportunity he has to engage with members of his community. “There isn’t any representation of African Americans in this industry, and that is why I pride myself on providing our community with top-notch service and respect. I value our dollar, and I love seeing peoples dream come true, and seeing their life instantly change after taking the leap of faith. Because I design all the trailers I sell, I love being able to express my thoughtful and creative designs with my clients.”

Like most businesses, Joe has faced a few challenges. “The Covid 19 pandemic has kind of been a blessing and a curse. We had our busiest year ever and are on pace to sell about 40-50% more than our previous peak. On the bad side, we have experienced heavy delays and supply chain problems, which have lead to customer service woes,” he says.

For those who are interested in following in his footsteps, he offers some advice. “Stay the course and keep pushing. It eventually gets easier when you have the experience under your belt. Most people just don’t stick it out long enough to see the work come to fruition,” Joe shares.

In the future, Joe plans to include world domination in his chosen industry and become a household brand synonymous with food trucks. He will be opening a second retail location to better serve his clients on the west coast.

To learn more about Joe The Cart Guy, please visit their website.

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