November 5, 2008
Satellite Crepes, LLC is operated by my wife Janeen Werderich and me, Dirk Werderich. We are “satelliting” the city of Milwaukee, flipping French crepes on our self-built food cart. The crepes are made from organic ingredients that we purchase from the most local and responsible suppliers. Following the green theme, we fuel the battery for our refrigerator by solar power and heat our crepe pan with propane gas. We are Milwaukee’s first “green” mobile food cart.
We started our business because we wanted to upgrade local street food options by offering a gourmet menu. Our menu-you can find it on our website-includes Nutella crepes with bananas or strawberries, fruits that are so popular in crepes.
Another part bit of our business is street theater-cooking fresh crepes right before your very eyes!
French crepes come from the Brittany region originally. Their most traditional recipe has buckwheat in the batter, and so does ours. And for our friends with special food needs, we offer a dairy/egg-free batter made from garbanzo beans, which is very high in protein. Our customers will walk away with nutrients and energy to help them through the day.
2. Where do you sell your crepes?
We have various spots on our regular “satellite” schedule, which repeat on our weekly orbit. Tuesday and Thursday we are on the corner of Kenwood and Maryland at UWM. Wednesday we are at Catalano Square in the Third Ward. Fridays we’re in front of the Marquette Union on Wisconsin Avenue. We usually operate from 10:30am to 5pm. Friday we close earlier. Our schedule is on our website, satellitecrepes.com.
3. What caused you to get into the crepes business?
I got inspired by the crepe stand at the South Shore Farmers Market and was reminded of my friend back in Germany, who fed his growing family by running a crepe stand at hippie festivals in eastern Germany. It came in more than handy that I am able to weld, saw, and bend parts when I constructed our cart in our Bay View garage.
4. Do you live in Bay View? Where were you before Bay View?
I spent 33 of my 37 years in Kassel, Germany. I moved here on Election Day 2004, after my Grandma Mae passed away. My dad still lives in Kassel, but is now retired.
5. How did you learn to make crepes? What are your most popular crepes?
I learned by standing in line for a crepe at the farmers market and watching the cook.
The popularity contest is a horserace between our Red Sputnik and the Moon Unit. For those who can’t decide between bananas or strawberries, we can make a crepe with both.
Personally, I always start my day with a Supercluster (mozzarella cheese, prosciutto, herbs, and truffle oil) for breakfast.
6. How do you keep your ingredients cool on hot days? Do you have refrigeration in your cart?
To keep our goods cold, we built a refrigerator from a DIY kit. It runs on a 12-volt boat battery. On hot days that battery would not get us very far, so we put a 64-watt solar panel on the roof. With the additional power source we can also afford to run my old car stereo for our own entertainment.
7. What did you do before you started Satellite Crepes?
Janeen has a Fine Arts degree. She took the initial step for our business by signing up for business class called Is My Business Feasible?. I was raised in Kassel, Germany and worked as exhibit carpenter there and since 2004 in Brookfield, Wis at Triad Creative Group. It was mostly my carpentry skills that let me build this cart in the first place and also Triad, who let me weld the aluminum structure of the cart there.
8. Where do you get your ingredients?
Sassy Cow milk; Yuppie Hill eggs; prosciutto and strawberries from Groppi’s; flours from Whole Foods; herbs from the Outpost; pepper and vanilla extract from the Spice House; and pouches and plastic forks from the Restaurant Depot.
9. Do you envision yourselves one day establishing an indoor creperie?
Yes, very much in the form of a limited-service restaurant.
10. Where will you vend your crepes during winter?
Schedule to be continued. You can find out where on our website.
2791 S. Ellen Street
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