By Derrick Mead
Wellington Daily News – November 25, 2015
Mike Castaneda (in truck) shakes hands with a police officer. Photo by Derrick Mead.
With Veterans Day and Thanksgiving both in November, local chef Mike Castaneda wanted to do something to show his thanks and give back.
He did just that last week, as the expert in ‘extreme sandwiches’ was able to sandwich his appreciation in between the two holidays.
Castaneda, a veteran himself, who also spent some time with the sheriff’s department, wanted to show his thanks for local public safety workers.
Using his talents as a chef and resources with his new food truck, Castaneda set up his Bade Truck outside the public safety building in Wellington.
For a change, Castaneda was not selling food, but giving it away to public service members as a thank you for the work they do.
“I worked for the sheriff’s department for a little bit, and being a soldier, you hear a lot of negativity,” Castaneda said. “People just don’t care about a lot of the stuff you go through.”
The event went over extremely well, as Castaneda and his food truck continue to gain popularity.
Police Chief Tracy Heath was very appreciative.
“Mike actually approached us as a ‘thank you’ standpoint for all public safety,” Heath said. “The food was awesome.
What did Heath eat?
“I had the Smokehouse. It was delicious,” he said. “My guys talked about it for hours. All were very appreciative. … That was a huge gesture as a sign of support.”
Fire Chief Tim Hay was unable to get to Bade Truck for a meal, but said his guys loved it.
“I did not personally eat from the truck, but the on duty shift did and they said the food was good,” Hay said. “The police chief and sheriff also commented that what they ate was very good. We are very appreciative of what he (Castaneda) did and took the time and at his own expense to provide lunch.”
Castaneda says he just wanted to do some good in light of so many bad things going on lately in the world.
“I just want people to be happy. I’m tired of seeing all the negative,” Castaneda said. “I’m hoping this will make people want to do something their own way. Like, if I could do something food related, maybe someone else can use what they do to help others, too.”
He even said he wants others, especially people in Wellington, to flourish.
“Why not support each other? Even if these local places (restaurants) are competition, I still want them to succeed.”
Following his goodwill efforts in Wellington on Wednesday, Castaneda took his truck to South Haven Thursday evening before returning to Smoker’s Choice in Wellington Friday evening and heading to Hopping Gnome Brewing Company in Wichita on Saturday.
Castaneda, who always seems to sell out, said he took extra stuff to South Haven (population 357) and still sold out.
“In towns like that, people tell their friends and those friends tell their friends — word spreads quickly,” Castaneda said on Friday.
He added he plans to be in Caldwell for the Christmas Bazaar this weekend.
For updates on where Bade Truck will be next, be sure to “like” Bade Truck on Facebook and follow along on Twitter and Instagram.