During busy times, Silo purchases between 600 and 1,000 pounds of chicken a week—and once fed 5,000 people in a 24-hour period. Their local vendor follows stringent requirements for growing, raising and handling poultry humanely. In a three-day prep process, the chicken is brined, roasted, and soaked in buttermilk, before being dredged and fried.
Foley’s role in the business was initially part-time.
“When we first started out, I was lending my ‘go-get-it’ attitude and professional background to get it off the ground and see what we would do with it. And it kind of took off. So I said, ‘Let's do this together.’”
It’s been her full-time venture for the past six years, but she remains committed to the not-for-profit world and the Ithaca area.
“I want to be a good community player and I want to give back,” says Foley.
She currently volunteers as a board member for the CFCU Community Credit Union, the Edith B. Ford Library, The State Theatre of Ithaca and The State Theater of Ithaca Foundation, and Silo Truck participates in major local events, including the Ithaca Festival, GrassRoots, and Apple Fest.
Like everyone in the hospitality industry, Foley and Steve were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In early 2020 they had been in talks with Liquid State Brewing Company regarding a partnership at their location on West Green Street. The plan had been to spend the summer building their second truck and launch it at the beer hall in the fall. Then COVID hit—and they had to pivot.
In May, they set up their original truck in the parking lot, serving pickup meals to-go. They also catered home-style, offering buckets of chicken and double orders of mac and cheese and cornbread. Towards the middle of the summer they added outdoor seating. It proved to be a very successful year and gave them the confidence to expand. In May 2021, the second Silo Truck took up permanent residency and recently opened for the 2022 season, adding Saturday lunch to their roster.
Foley is excited to start their events season with appearances at IC. The truck participated in last year’s freshman orientation and she’s looking forward to introducing Silo to students who might rarely come down off the hill. She is strengthening her connection to her alma mater in other ways, too, having recently hired a Park School grad as her first part-time marketing assistant.
She and Steve typically take a break over the winter—a time to recharge, focus on next steps and get inspired. For Foley, this year meant a fact-finding trip to Puerto Rico with mom, sister and girlfriends, Steve was busy refurbishing an early 1990s convertible Mustang.
“The food truck scene in Puerto Rico is amazing,” said Foley. “Even if I wanted to eat at a cart, trailer or truck three times a day, I couldn’t fit it all in. It’s pretty remarkable. And it’s fun to travel and see what others are doing.”