Gouda Talks with Bon Me
On Jess Eng’s first episode of Gouda Talks, a podcast exploring the intersection of race, class, and gender in food, she talks to CEO of Bon Me, Patrick Lynch (‘05). Lynch graduated from Harvard with a degree in Economics and then later attended MIT where he obtained a graduate degree in urban planning and environmental policy. As Lynch explains, when he co-founded Bon Me, he had no experience in the food industry. In this interview, they unpack the story behind Bon Me’s conception, its success as a food truck and currently budding restaurant, and the inspiration behind their Asian influenced food. Lynch also reveals the challenges of starting a food truck and managing the business side as its CEO. This is the first episode in a series of conversations with local food trucks in the Boston and Cambridge areas.
On Bon Me’s Asian-inspired food:_
I don't think we're…[trying] to be authentic Vietnamese. Our sandwich is the most traditional Vietnamese dish. And the rice noodle salad that we do is also reasonably Vietnamese, but the rice bowls are much more of a Chinese dish. A lot of the fillings we use and so on are either from Southeast Asia.
On the influx of food trucks in Boston and Cambridge:
We have seven restaurants now...So we're definitely as much a restaurant company now as a food truck company. And I think since then to the last year and a half now, we've seen more competition come in. I think a lot of that has actually been driven on by the restaurant side rather than the truck side. The truck scene got pretty well saturated even as early as 2014.
Jess Eng is a member of the News department and the host of Gouda Talks.