'Wich, Please Crew Moves Indoors, at Mussel Ridge Market in Spruce Head
Photos by MALCOLM BEDELL
After two successful summers operating in Rockland, Maine’s “Buoy Park,” located on the water behind the Trade Winds Hotel and the Maine Lighthouse Museum, the ‘Wich, Please truck announced today that it will be staying indoors for the 2017 season.
The concession trailer, which was awarded Eater.com’s “Hottest Restaurant in Maine” for 2015 and a Knox County “Best of the Best” award for 2016, will remain mostly shuttered for the summer. Owner Malcolm Bedell and his sous chef, Nick Pooley, were both offered positions at Spruce Head’s “Mussel Ridge Market,” owned by locals Molly and Jason Hooper. The truck’s entire staff was hired when it closed for the season in the fall of 2016, and the relationship has been extremely positive for all involved.
“Molly and I share a passion for the kind of food that I loved cooking on the truck at ‘Wich, Please,” says Bedell. “Imaginative, approachable breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, made with the best possible local ingredients, and served with creative twists that ratchet up the craveability of each dish and get people talking.”
“As a cook, I’m happiest when I get to make the food that I love, that I just can’t find anywhere else,” Bedell continued, “And Molly gives me the freedom and the environment to do just that. I’m really proud of the work we have done this winter at Mussel Ridge Market, establishing the store as a hub in the Spruce Head community, and I look forward to helping to grow the business into another popular coastal Maine dining destination.”
Mussel Ridge Market opened in July, 2016, replacing the former “Spruce Head Pizza” and “Off Island Store.” The store boasts a full kitchen, retail space, and options for both take out and dine-in service.
It’s an arrangement that has been working for Hooper, as well. “We couldn’t be happier with the ideas and energy that the ‘Wich, Please crew have brought to the table,” says Molly. “Our local customers have been loving the various theme nights we’ve been running all winter, including ‘Taco Night’ and ‘International Night,’ and as summertime traffic starts to ramp up, we’re delighted to be launching an updated menu including steamed lobster dinners, some fun new regular menu items, and the addition of some customer favorites from the ‘Wich, Please truck on both our regular menu, and as part of our rotating weekly sandwich specials.”
Bedell doesn’t rule out the possibility of some action for his little red food truck in the future. “I’m in love with that thing,” he says, “And I love the role it allows me to play in our local food community.” Options for the truck later in the summer include catering jobs, the occasional pop-up event, or participation in the major summer festivals and shows. But now, Bedell’s focus is on Mussel Ridge Market. “Managing the kitchen at Mussel Ridge Market is the next step in my evolution as a cook. Getting the space, the equipment, the team, and the resources to realize some of my culinary goals is an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.”
You can find Molly Hooper, Malcolm Bedell (and the transplanted ‘Wich, Please crew) behind the line every day at Mussel Ridge Market, located at 20 Island Road in South Thomaston. For further information, please visit www.musselridgemarket.com and www.wichplease.me .