Dream chasing sparks the imagination of everyone. Following a passion takes guts, perseverance, and vision.
“My nickname as a kid was Curious George,” said John Hofmann, entrepreneur, and owner of Epicurus 101. “I think that was always part of my character.” That curiosity led John to create the United States’ first 100% solar-powered food truck.
“The name of my business is Epicurus 101 [and] we make good food for a good price and for a good cause.” John’s hottest (or coldest) item is his signature dairy free sorbet made with raw honey. These delicious sorbets come in an assortment of tantalizing flavors: mango, strawberry, watermelon, and more. Ten percent of his proceeds go directly to charitable non-profit organizations in Pasadena, which is the primary area he services. “I launched this company July fourth of last year. The first day of business, I think I only sold 5 sorbets. Now, I sell ten times that. Sometimes more. I can sell 250 in a day.”
Motivation for Epicurus 101 came from various sources. “I lost a few people in my life. It inspired me to reevaluate my life and passions. I wanted to focus on what I was interested in: tinkering and building stuff.” John built his food truck. “Every part of the process was a problem,” he said. “I built the back end of the truck from scratch. The front end is from another company, but I had to make adjustments.” He went through multiple design issues. “I thought I was gonna go bankrupt before I finished the vehicle.”
John persevered and kept at it partly because of his interest in renewable energies. “The long-term savings are ridiculous. This truck cost me one-fifth the price of another food truck. Plus there’s no gas. Come this July I will have saved $6000 in gas.” Being economical is one of his guiding principles.
“I had to be psychologically and emotionally prepared to start this business. The hardest part of starting a business is being mature enough to take a challenge.” He compared independence to a double-edged sword. “I like how I can take a day off when I want [but] that day can throw me off for a week. There are no office politics, but you’re always gonna deal with people.”
He had some advice for those considering entrepreneurship. “It’s a journey of self-discovery. You will learn more about yourself than any other job I can think of. You become a much stronger person regardless of whether your business is successful or not.” John also mentioned that an entrepreneur must be frugal with his or her finances. After tallying how much one needs to start a business, he or she should double that figure, and according to John that number will be the true startup cost. “You have to reach inside and find out if you have the entrepreneurial spirit or not. You only find out when you take that leap.”
In the future, John wants Epicurus 101 to have a storefront with product distribution. He also wants a retail contract. He is cautiously moving forward by taking new challenges on one by one. “That’s smart business,” he stated. “Don’t buy the carriage before the horse.”
John can be reached via e-mail and through his website that has a GPS of his location.
Previously posted on Dreamer Loop
Photos: Dreamer Loop