If you're a resident of Southern California, the capital of the food truck culture, you've seen them. The ubiquitous box vans range from plain-Jane fleet white with humble lettering to full-body multicolored wraps proclaiming the truck's theme, along with its Twitter tag and Facebook page. But the basic packaging remains the same: a square-sided box van whose basic design hasn't changed for the better part of four decades.
Felix Eliorriaga, a veteran of the food service business, decided he'd break from the herd and start customizing Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans for mobile food prep and service. His work soon caught on as many food trucks and restaurants wanting a mobile presence gravitated to the Sprinter's sleek, sophisticated style.
Eliorriaga's New Braunfels, Texas-based company, Kitchens on Wheels, is now recognized by Daimler Vans as an authorized food truck upfitter. This gives Kitchens on Wheels access to advanced product information, ship-through service, and technical expertise from Sprinter specialists, including assembly techniques and tips. To qualify to become an authorized upfitter, companies must submit product plans to Daimler, allow for site visits from Sprinter specialists, and an inspection of a completed vehicle. Kitchens on Wheels' specially upfitted Sprinter was featured in the Mercedes-Benz exhibit at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.