Our 6th annual Food Truck Derby is just 3 weeks away and we’re so excited we’re counting down the days—and starting to draw up our day-of game plan. Navigating a field full of food trucks isn’t easy, you know, and when you’re surrounded by pizza here and tacos there, crepes and donuts, french fries and more—well, it’s easy to get overwhelmed (in the best possible way).
So, to help ourselves prepare and satisfy our growing levels of excitement, we’ve started reaching out to the event’s participating food trucks, who—it turns out—are just as enthusiastic about the Derby as we are!
Here, we begin with a truck that’s new to the Food Truck Derby this year: Dreesen’s Famous Donuts. A family-run truck that delivers some of the East End’s most delectable donuts, Dreesen’s is one of the first trucks we plan on visiting when our Derby returns to Hayground School in Bridgehampton on August 11. (In truth, we plan on visiting Dreesen’s Famous Donuts more than once, because: donuts.)
We spoke with Dreesen’s own Rudy DeSanti Jr. about how he and his family are preparing for the Food Truck Derby, what they’ll be serving, and what they’re most looking forward to about the event. Here’s what he said.
Edible East End: How did the story of your food truck begin? When did you get started
Rudy DeSanti Jr.: My family has owned Dreesen’s Famous Donuts since the 1950s when my grandfather Rudy DeSanti put a donut machine in the window of his old fashioned grocery/butcher shop on Newtown Lane in East Hampton (Dreesen’s Excelsior Market). Over the years, my grandfather Rudy and then my father Rudy perfected and trademarked our own recipe, and made thousands of donuts each year!
We license our donut machine, mix, and sugars to other businesses as well. When my father retired in 2004, we closed the market and I began my own full service catering company, Dreesen’s Catering. I always wanted to take the Dreesen’s Donuts mobile, so two years ago I purchased an old fashioned ice cream truck and had the interior customized for my Donut Robot machine. We use the truck for weddings, private events and fairs.
Most clients request our 3 original recipe donuts (Dreesen’s are a cake donut) made fresh during their event (plain, powdered sugar & cinnamon), and we send their guests home with a donut gift bag—which is a huge hit with the guests! My wife and I have been having so much fun coming up with new and fun ways to display the donuts, too—donut towers, tiers, walls, donut tables, and donut ice cream bars with ice cream from Scoop du Jour, one of our donut licensees in East Hampton. We have been experimenting with specialty flavors as well—our Maple Glaze and Berry Shortcake have been very popular!
We are a small local family business still—from my grandfather Rudy who started it all, to my sons Rudy and Patrick who are now the 4th generation of DeSantis making Dreesen’s Famous Donuts. The family & community history of the donuts is very special to us—going to Dreesen’s to get a fresh, hot donut has been a part of East Hampton life for generations of locals and visitors, and it seems everyone has a Dreesen’s Donut memory. I recently had a grandfather send me a series of photos of himself and his grandsons eating Dreesen’s Donuts on the bench in front of our market over the years from when the boys were toddlers until they were teenagers!
EEE: What is your favorite part of owning a food truck?
RDSJ: My favorite part of owning a food truck is working with my family and making someone’s event extra special and memorable. Everyone loves donuts and we are having so much fun at these events.
EEE: Is this your first year participating in Edible East End’s Food Truck Derby? If not, how many previous derbies have you participated in?
RDSJ: This will be our first year participating in the Edible East End Food Truck Derby and we can’t wait!
EEE: What will you be serving? (Or is it a secret?)
RDSJ: We will be serving up our 3 original recipe donuts—plain, powdered sugar & cinnamon—fresh and hot off the donut machine!
Enjoy Dreesen’s Famous Donuts—and so much more—at Edible East End’s 6th Annual Food Truck Derby on Friday, August 11 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. in Bridgehampton. Tickets are $65 per person for adults and $20 per person for children. All tickets are available for purchase now on the event’s website.