Haley Wood and Jessie Watnes Create Big Following on Facebook for GourMelt

Facebook, Twitter and grilled cheese sandwiches served from a food truck, what a beautiful combination. The gourmet food truck craze really hit hard in 2009-2010. The idea of selling high-quality food from a truck has appealed to people all across the nation, especially to Haley Wood and Jessie Watnes.

These two wonderful women met 10 years ago, as servers at the local Archie’s. Haley is from Elko, NV and Jessie is from Reno, NV. Each of them were going to school, but they had a knack for the foodservice industry. When school was over and they set out to tackle their careers, but something was missing. The life of desk jobs, clocking in, and repetition was not what these 2 ladies had in mind.

“We loved working in the foodservice industry, it was ingrained in our brains, and we were very good at it. We always have friends and family over and we really enjoy cooking for everyone.”

In 2010, the girls researched the food truck phenomenon as it was all over the Food Network and other media.

“This idea was different. We are not chefs, we don’t have any fancy credentials- but we are artists. A gourmet food truck was a perfect way for us to channel our talents.”

Haley Wood is the voice behind Gourmelt’s Facebook and Twitter. Months prior to GourMelt’s first event, she was tweeting to the community creating awareness and anticipation for Reno’s new food truck. After hours of research and the blood, sweat and tears involved in the reconstruction of their food truck from 1989 (Bessie), GourMelt grilled their first sandwiches on Earth Day, 2011.

Haley and Jessie created a business plan, which involves offering a quick and quality lunch to local businesses. How it works: businesses contact GourMelt and request for them to come and sell lunch to their company. Before GourMelt started on Earth Day, they had 5 weeks of locations booked. These ladies also love the idea of supporting local businesses and enjoy bringing their crowd to various locations. GourMelt’s bread is from Reno’s House of Bread and their eggs are from Reno Egg.

The use of social media is crucial, almost reliant, to Gourmelt’s business plan. To market their business, GourMelt solely relies on Facebook and Twitter. Around 10:30am (timing of her posts is crucial) each day, Haley will tweet to over 4,000 fans the location of the truck. When it comes to social media, these two really focus on creating excitement and anticipation amongst their fans. They also keep it very simple. It’s not about sales or gimmicks, Haley only posts once a day and it is relevant and valuable information. Gourmelt serves any where from 85-140 meals per day, thanks to their tasty menu and the marketing power of Twitter and Facebook.

“When people communicate on our Facebook, they are not talking to a robot- they are talking directly with us and we respond to every question or comment.”

Hats off to Haley Wood and Jessie Watnes for their excellent execution on Facebook, another business that is leading by example. Check out their creative menu and get more info here. Become a fan of their business page and follow on Twitter so you can find out where they will be today!


4 thoughts on “Haley Wood and Jessie Watnes Create Big Following on Facebook for GourMelt

  1. Excellent blog post Kristin! I think it’s my favorite one so far (maybe because I am a huge grilled cheese fanatic). I’m definitely going to follow GourMelt on twitter after reading this and may try and get them to swing by our office one day for lunch. Have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you, Ian! Shoot them a tweet, there is a bit of a waiting list but they will get to you. Go find them soon for lunch, it’s worth the trip. Thanks for the comment.

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