By Arielle Dollinger
In the late night hours of a September Sunday, there is a wedding after-party in the library of Oheka Castle. A man rolls cigars at a wooden table and a piano player in a tuxedo takes to a glossy black grand piano.
The doors open and guests follow a path lined with blue lights to a food truck – a metal contraption whose fluorescent light emanates as it draws people in.
A woman holding a cigar in one hand and her black heels in the other stands in front of the truck as the vehicle’s attendants fill a black monogrammed shopping bag with snack foods of the woman’s choosing.
The retrofitted “after-event snack truck” belongs to company Mobile Delights, which caters only after-parties.
“You’re having caviar, filet mignon… and you come out and you’re having cheeseburgers, pretzels,” said Mobile Delights co-owner Steven Porretto. “People are having Chateau Briand filet mignon and then they’re coming out to White Castle hamburgers.”
Inspired by a story Porretto’s father told him, Porretto and business partner Michelle Kiefer started the corporation a few years ago.
“He [my father] went to a wedding about 30 years ago in Brooklyn, and he went outside and he saw this snack truck with the guy that had coffee, bagels, and Danishes and donuts,” he said. “He always told me, ‘I don’t remember anything from that wedding, but I remember that.’”
Packages start at $1,850 and go to $4,000. For $4,000, the “Premium Delights” truck carries Godiva chocolate, Krispy Kreme donuts, Starbucks and Perrier beverages. Bride and groom Fig and Joey chose package two, the “New York City Street.” Fig requested the gluten-free items. Those hiring the company can choose a custom assortment of items, or allow the company to choose items for them.
After seeing the reaction of party guests, Porretto said he realized that the business model was something that would likely be a successful one.
“[I said to myself,] This is going to be bigger than photobooths. This is not going to be a trend; this is going to be something that’s going to stay,” he said.
A man smoking a cigar asks for M&M’s – plain, not peanut – and a Twinkie.
Another, staring at the truck, says that he is “spellbound.”
“This is totally fulfilling childhood fantasies, all over again,” he says.
On the truck’s several shelves sit snack foods like boxed Cracker Jacks, packaged Swedish Fish, Lays, Cheese Doodles, Twinkies and Hershey’s chocolate bars. There are Nerds Ropes and giant Pixie Sticks.
In the back of the truck are the hot foods – tonight, it’s pizza, McDonald’s cheeseburgers, and the gluten-free options: pretzels and pizza.
Partygoers can choose as many items from the truck as they want, all compliments of the bride and groom.
Fully licensed, insured and incorporated, Mobile Delights is currently in 11 venues.
“We’re growing, but we’re growing slow,” Porretto said.
He will go to Costco and buy $5,000 worth of candy bars; at White Castle, $2,000 in “Belly Bombers.”
Meanwhile, at the wedding party itself, dessert was not an absentee. As per Oheka tradition, there is an entire room filled with dessert. There are cakes, tiny self-serve desserts like Macarons and cupcakes, and hollow gold eggs with whipped cream flourishes; there are cream puffs in a tower shaped like a Christmas tree and rainbow cookies. There is a flambé toward one of the room’s corners. The bride and groom slice into the six-tiered cake, which teeters on its stand as the wait staff rolls it away for cutting.
Still, the after-party truck is enough to leave guests impressed, calling the truck “the jackpot” and “so fun!”
The appeal of the Mobile Delights truck, according to event planner Karyn LoCicero, of Karyn Michael Events, is in the contrast between a formal party and the truck’s offerings.
“After all of the formality of the day, it’s nice to infuse a bit of fun at the end of the night,” said LoCicero, who planned Fig and Joe’s event. “What’s more fun than treats and candy?”
The truck also adds an element of surprise, she said.
“We want to offer attending guests an experience, make them… feel attended to, a bit spoiled if you will,” she said.
A silvery light in the darkness of the vast Oheka property, the truck at the end of the trail of blue lights seems to have the call of a Siren. Those in heels and tuxes take off their shoes and loosen their ties and gravitate toward the Sour Patch Kids and Doritos. In the chilly nighttime air, as rain begins to fall in a light mist, those in floor-length dresses hold cheeseburgers and cans of Coke. The party is not yet over.