The Food Truck Hits the Bricks: Graze to Griddle Opening on Davis Street | InsideNoVa Culpeper – Culpeper Times

One of Culpeper’s most recognizable and beloved food trucks is finding a more permanent place to cook up its famous smash burgers on East Davis Street.

“It’s very humbling to see the community’s response to our business,” Graze told Griddle owner Corey Ritchie. “We are so excited and elated to be able to be part of this community in a more fixed way.”

Ritchie announced on the food truck’s social media page on February 4 that the company’s next venture would be to open next to It’s About Thyme, replacing Thyme Market at 134 E Davis St.

Renovations are underway, Ritchie said. It plans to open in the spring.

Although the move surprised some customers, Ritchie said his goal has always been to open a physical store.

“It has always been my goal to open a brick and mortar location and this is our first step towards the next level of our business enterprise to open on Davis Street in the coming months.”

Despite his vision, Ritchie’s background doesn’t come from food.

He ran a data analytics consultancy for about 10 years before waking up one morning in 2018 craving a burger smash.

Different from other burgers, smash burgers are formed into balls before being pressed into a thin patty when they hit the grill, creating extra browning around the edges.

Ritchie, who is also a former military man, ventured to gather only the finest ingredients to make the burgers for his family, but when the tines hit the meat, he knew he was onto something.

“We completely lost our minds,” he said. “We liked it.”

Ritchie teamed up with his friend Wally Hudson, owner of Moving Meadows Farm, to start serving burgers at the Farmer’s Market, which quickly attracted a loyal following.

In October 2018, Ritchie began planning a food truck.

He initially opted for a food truck because of lower financial risk, while seeing it as an opportunity to test the market before committing to a brick and mortar.

In January 2019, Ritchie opened his first Graze to Griddle truck while continuing his corporate career. When a government contract was canceled a few months later, however, Ritchie decided rather than get back on the horse, he would trade it in for the full-time truck.

Besides its fixed location in town, the truck traveled to local breweries and selected parties after building relationships and building relationships locally.

Building on its success, Ritchie opened a second truck in the Warrenton area the following year in 2020.

When the downtown store opens, however, Ritchie said they will scale back to one truck as they gain a foothold in hopes of returning to full strength in the fall.

[email protected]

Comments are closed.