What Next?

IMAG0079There’s a pretty Zen feeling that accompanies being able to pack up all of your belongings into a car and drive across the country – a feeling made even more Zen by the fact that not much fits in my car (a Volkswagen Golf). After quitting my job and saying goodbye to my friends, I sold/gave away everything that wouldn’t fit in my car and hit the road. With no obligations left in Chicago and none yet begun in LA, I enjoyed a brief lack of responsibility that I hadn’t felt since summer vacations in high school.


We did, however, begin to set things in motion before I left. The first step was to incorporate our business. My brother was able to get the USC small business clinic to take NaanStop on as a client. This clinic has been immensely helpful so far in helping us tackle some of the logistical hurdles such as what type of corporation to establish, applying for tax ID numbers and establishing bylaws of governing the corporation. And, with the help of law students, they offered the service free of charge for USC students. We were able to save upwards of $1000  – incredibly important when starting a business on a tight budget.


I took my time getting out to LA, crossing 8 states in 5 days and visiting lots of friends along the way. I hope I never get too old to couch surf at friends’ apartments. I hit some tourist spots like the Coors brewery and 4-corners (the definition of a tourist trap, but worth the detour nevertheless). And, I sampled fried chicken in each state along the way – Sweetie Pie’s in St. Louis might have been the best.


When I got to LA I freaked out almost immediately. I felt overwhelmed by the number of things that needed to happen. Struggling to wrap my head around all of them, I made a list, which is by no means comprehensive:



Business licenses

Bank account

Website design

Food purveyors

Find a truck


Scout locations

Finalize menu

Organize tastings

Get a job on a food truck


I thought back to when the small business counselor in Chicago practically laughed at me for trying to open a restaurant without experience and decided that getting a job on a food truck should be a high priority. I was sure that working on a truck would help me figure out a few other things on this list as well. So, I applied for a job with LA’s first all bacon food truck: Lardon.


This is part of an ongoing series about the start up of a food truck called NaanStop. We will be launching in the first quarter of 2011. You can follow us on twitter @NaanStop or email me at neal.idnani@gmail.com with any feedback. Check back here for weekly updates!