RIO RANCHO – James Wilkinson is striving to offer more than just his food truck in the Albuquerque Metro area.
That’s why the owner of Big Boss HotLinks partnered with Brew Lab 101 in Rio Rancho to expand operations beyond that tight space, parked right in front of the building. The food truck sells burgers, sandwiches and a few other food items.
Big Boss, which launched in 2019, is in the process of adding a new kitchen and indoor seating area. That building space, incorporated into Brew Lab 101, is called Blue Sky Kitchen.
Wilkinson said the goal of the seating area is to accommodate those who don’t want to be in that “brewery atmosphere, per se.”
Blue Sky, referencing the name of the fictional methamphetamine cooked on the television show “Breaking Bad,” is slated to open on July 1, 2022, Wilkinson said. He also said Brew Lab 101 approached him about forming the partnership, which entails a commitment of at least one year and paying for at least the costs related to the kitchen.
“I think this is the catalyst actually to grow Big Boss exponentially. We’ll have the truck out; we’ll have the kitchen,” Wilkinson said, adding he’s also having discussions about expanding to east Albuquerque in the future.
Big Boss food truck, which is based in Rio Rancho, serves the City of Vision, Albuquerque, Bernalillo and Los Lunas. Once the new kitchen and seating area are ready to launch, Wilkinson said he expects those components will help double or even triple his establishment’s sales.
“That’s the exciting part, seeing that revenue growth, seeing the potential of the business getting where I want it to be,” Wilkinson said.
He said he still has to finalize permits and contracting, so the time frame to break ground on the kitchen is still to be determined. He also said Blue Sky will get to work on that once Brew Lab 101 completes its new back patio seating area.
For now, Wilkinson said Big Boss is taking orders while parked in front of Brew Lab 101, and there’s a seating area inside the brewery for Big Boss customers. He also said there’s the option of having servers come out to get orders and bring food to customers.
Wilkinson said he’s still trying to bring in larger lunch crowds, which has been more challenging because Brew Lab 101 doesn’t open until 2 p.m.
He’s also trying to make his presence known during events such as Rio Rancho’s Oktoberfest, which was held Sept. 25.
“We had a fair amount of folks come through,” Wilkinson said. “When you’re incorporated in any type of event like that, it boosts your name. Folks that don’t know you will try you, and then they’ll come back, of course.”