By Ethan Duran
You may have seen or smelled the food from his truck on 27th and Capitol, at Schlitz Park or parked outside of the Milwaukee County Courthouse. Michael Smith Sr., better known as Bigg Mike or the Sandwich God has been serving cheese steaks, corned beef sandwiches and jerk chicken from his truck since last December. Smith’s company, Sandwich God LLC, has been expanding since last winter, but now Smith has turned to GoFundMe to help raise money to keep his business from going under.
Sandwich God has gained some popularity in the community with their unique menu.
“I like to say I’m starting a whole new genre of food. I’m calling it Trap Food,” Smith says. According to Smith, Trap Food is fun, quick food that appeals to the ‘trap’ genre which was founded in Hip Hop.
“Now that I took on a staff, it’s a little difficult not having any working capital or overhead,” Smith said, “If you have a bad week or so, you have to cut your staff where these people depend on you for their living expenses.” Sandwich God is caught between needing a team of workers, but not having enough business to sustain more than one employee.
“For the last two months, it’s been hard to turn a profit without having a staff and having overhead for the truck,” Smith said. “When you can’t find a traditional way [to make money], you turn to the community to help you out.”
On September 24, Smith created a GoFundMe page to raise donations for SandwichGod. GoFundMe is a crowdfunding website that allows people to sign up and donate money to different causes and businesses. Smith’s goal is to raise $10,000 to obtain a business loan, replace two balding front tires, and replace two broken windows on his truck. The money will also be used to acquire a statewide food truck license. So far, the GoFundMe page has only raised $50 since its creation.
Smith’s attitude for the page is all-or-nothing. “I have to work it. I can’t lose the truck, I can’t go backwards,” Smith said. “I put the GoFundMe out to see if people will help, but my focus is to just work it. To keep moving.” The GoFundMe page doesn’t have a deadline, so money can be donated at any time.
Despite financial pressures and the slow start to the fundraiser, Smith is still passionate about food and cooking for others. “I love food,” he said. “[Even] if I didn’t get paid, I would do this.”
To find out how to donate visit https://www.facebook.com/SandwichGodfoodtruck/