Happy Wanderer

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UMD Alumna Elyse Wachendorf Starts Her Own Food Truck

UMD alumna Elyse Wachendorf and Nick Arntz  
Elyse Wachendorf and business partner, Nick Arntz  

“In the evening when I lived on the UMD campus, there wasn’t any food within walking distance,” said UMD alumna Elyse Wachendorf “We always ended up having to drive somewhere or get delivery. With the food truck, we really hope to provide another late night meal option to students and the community.”

Wachendorf owns and runs the Happy Wanderer, a specialty egg roll food truck, that has been serving Duluth and the Northland since August. They are working on gaining access to the UMD campus to sell their food.

After reaching their goal through their Kickstarter campaign, Wachendorf and her business partner, Nick Arntz, spent the rest of the summer constructing their food truck. The egg rolls are freshly prepared and cooked by Wachendorf and Arntz.

Wachendorf took an entrepreneurship upper division course taught by Professor Patricia Merrier at the Labovitz School of Business and Economics which made her realize that she wanted to own her own business.

“When I started to plan the food truck as a business, I went back to my notes from Professor Merrier’s class,” she said. “ The information that was given in class helped me create the business plan and start this business.”

“I consider the food truck the first step,” said Wachendorf. “I hope to have a national chain of food trucks and someday even mass manufacture the egg rolls. I also would like to own my own resort or hostel in another country. I’d enjoy creating an adventure land for adults where you can go scuba diving, rock climbing and other fun activities.”

Wachendorf graduated from UMD in 2011, with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Organizational Management and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. She moved to the Twin Cities and worked for a worldwide logistics company, CH Robinson, for about two years.

“I started off in the corporate world although I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur,” said she.  “I felt I had to go into that world, because of school loans and the fact that it is the natural thing to do after college. I believe students should do what they want and what makes them happy. They should choose a career off of what they want to do, not what others are telling them they have to do.”



Written by Katarina Menze, October 2014.


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UMD News Features editor, Cheryl Reitan, creitan@d.umn.edu

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