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Marie Henningsen of Uncle Bobby's Food Truck

That smile. For those of you that know Marie then you know that smile of hers that lights up her whole face and yours too! She has an attitude of curiosity and fun in everything she approaches, and this is true as she shares her journey of work, family and food truck business. Though different chapters led up to where she is now, all the pieces fit together more intentionally than you would think. And its a result of her outlook in finding joy in the everyday, using exactly what has come her way.  

When you were 10 what did you want to be?  I wanted to be a veterinarian as a kid. I’ve always had a soft spot for animals!

What jobs did you hold before this one? I’ve mostly been a stay at home mom my adult life. I ran a daycare for a bit, did direct sales selling jewelry and worked as a know, jobs that fit well with the mom life. Pre kids I worked in the Resort and Hotel industry in many different departments. Hotel Operator, front desk agent, greater at a fine dining restaurant, pool and shop attendant, etc... started working from the age of 16

What are the unique strengths you bring to the work you do? Unique memory with people. I can talk to someone once for not even 5 minutes and remember them the next time I see them, no matter how long it has been. People love to be remembered and recognized.

What do you love most about launching a business?  Having this adventure to call our own and having the ability to watch it grow and build.

What have you learned about yourself in this process? Man, what haven’t I learned?! hahaha I’ve learned that I can do hard things. This whole process has come with many unforeseen hiccups and I have moments were it all seems too big and in no way possible but I’m learning to push past the fear and intimidation and be confident in my abilities and who I am and trust the process. No matter how rocky and wavy it gets.

What are you currently reading? Listening to? Watching?  I just received a book from a friend called,”The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry”  How to stay emotionally healthy and spiritually alive in the chaos of the modern world. I’m excited to dive into it! I’m always on the go and rushing around to get all the things done and to stay on top of life but I know if I continue to operate this way I’m going to burn out. And well the mama ship can’t go down  So I’m recognizing I need a shift in my day to day life and I’m hoping this will give some great insight in ways to implement that. How do you balance out the pressures of owning a business? My go to, to find balance is always Jesus. I know when my mind is chaotic and I’m feeling overwhelmed by the business I need to step back and redirect my gaze. It’s far too easy to let the business control our lives, there is always stuff that needs to get done. So having quiet time by myself in the morning and taking a moment to just be in His presence refocuses me and brings that balance. Also another big one is boundaries. We are always closed Sunday and usually Monday. Sunday is our family day. Always has been. I won’t make separate commitments for myself on Sunday’s unless it involves our whole family. I want our kid’s to see what a healthy balance looks like and that the business doesn’t control us. Our time as a family unit is very important to us and we do not waver on that. We don’t respond to emails, we don’t check our business pages, or the phone. All family, all day. Monday we set aside as our prep day for the week. So while kids are in school (normally 🤦‍♀️) We get all the products purchased for the business and I use it as a time to catch up on house work and mom life stuff, you know like laundry! Ugh! Does anyone actually like laundry? So Jesus, boundaries, oh and running! Running for sure! That’s how I balance the demands of being a business owner.

Whats been the latest milestone or victory achieved? The latest milestone I believe is finding our groove in the business.  I work full time with my husband, which I have never done before. So it has been lots of adjusting and growing as we navigate these new waters. Especially in this industry. He’s worked in the food industry for almost 20 years, and well me on the other hand...I have not. So it has taken lots of intentional learning and communication to work out the kinks. But I believe we’ve found our sweet spot!!  We’re to the place where we anticipate each others next move and can jump in and take over for one another without question. Because sometime lunch rush gets crazy and we’re going nonstop for a couple hours. It’s really neat to see how far we’ve come in these 7 short months.

What are you excited about or looking forward to? 

I’m looking forward to what this next season will look like. It looks very interesting and full of unknowns but it’s also making us get creative with business ideas to make up for the massive drop in tourism. I’m excited because I know it will grow us as business owners and personally as well. It will give us the ability to further strengthen ourselves as we persevere through it. If we can get through this new hit in the economy, then I believe we can get through anything that’s thrown at the business. 

What impact do you hope to have through this business (for yourself and for those you serve)? 

I don’t know if can speak for my husband with this but I know for me the biggest impact I hope our business has on people is the experience of being family and feeling loved. Something Bobby and I have always taken much delight in is having friends/family over and feeding them. We love people and the atmosphere that’s created when everyone comes together. I pray that every person who comes to our food truck walks away feeling loved and blessed by simple conversation and great food. Which that brings me back to when you asked my greatest strengths with this business...people matter and I’m thankful I’ve been blessed with the gift of remembering most of them. I use to be embarrassed that I could remember such details but now I'm seeing it come to fruition in our business and that it truly is a gift. It’s a wild ride but I’m so incredibly thankful for all of it! 

Marie thank you so much for sharing your perspective on what this journey has been like. They are still serving take out - pop over to their instagram@unclebobbyskauaiand place your order! 

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