The Grilled Cheese Truck

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The Grilled Cheese Truck
TypeFood truck company specializing in grilled cheese sandwiches
IndustryFast food
FoundedLos Angeles, 2009
FounderDave Danhi and Michele Grant
SuccessorTRIG Acquisition 1, Inc.
Area served
Southern California, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Austin
Key people
Dave Danhi

The Grilled Cheese Truck is a food truck company serving gourmet "chef driven" grilled cheese sandwiches. The company started in Los Angeles in 2009, and has since expanded throughout Southern California, Phoenix, San Antonio and Austin.


The Grilled Cheese Truck

The Grilled Cheese Truck started as a joint venture between Dave Danhi (a Los Angeles-based chef) and Michele Grant (chef and entrepreneur).[1]

Danhi devised the idea when he competed in the 7th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational, a grilled cheese competition that takes place every Spring in Los Angeles, California. As he left the competition and saw the food trucks lined up outside, as well as the interest in grilled cheese from the competition, he got the idea to open the "grilled cheese food truck".[2] After several discussions with Grant, they decided to open up a gourmet grilled cheese truck together in Los Angeles. Referencing both of their culinary backgrounds, the tag line for the truck is: “Chef driven Grilled Cheese, ‘cause that’s how we roll...”

The Grilled Cheese Truck has been awarded accolades including "10 Best Grilled Cheese Trucks"[3] and one of the "Top 10 Sandwiches in LA".[4] Grant, Danhi and the truck have had television appearances on The Price is Right,[5] Unwrapped,[6] House of Food, Be Our Guest, The Rachael Ray Show,[7] The Joan and Melissa Show, and The Cooking Channel.[8] Danhi's grilled cheese recipes have appeared in talk shows, magazines, blogs [9] and cookbooks.[10]

History and business activity[edit]

2009 - 2012: In 2009, The Grilled Cheese Truck was launched in Los Angeles by hollywood chef and entrepreneur Michele Grant and celebrity chef Dave Danhi. The company got its start with only one truck, but from the very beginning was a huge hit in the burgeoning Los Angeles Gourmet Food Truck scene.

Within six months Grant and Danhi had added a second truck and were expanding not just their physical reach within the greater Los Angeles area, but their social media reach as well.

By the third anniversary of the truck’s opening, it had well upwards of 170,000 followers via Twitter and Facebook spanning the entire globe. The Grilled Cheese Truck had become a go to destination for tourists visiting Los Angeles, with several couples “meeting their match” while waiting in line to buy food from the truck.

During this time, according to Mr. Danhi who co-owned the business, the trucks generated gross revenues of $12,000 to $15,000 per week ($624,000 to $780,000 on an annualized basis) and net cash flow of $112,000 to $156,000 on an annualized basis. At the time of the completion of sale of The Grilled Cheese Truck to TRIG Acquisition at the end of October 2012, the company was on target to earn 1.4 million dollars in revenue by the end of the year.

2012 - 2016: On October 18, 2012, TRIG Acquisition 1, Inc., a Delaware Form 10 company, acquired The Grilled Cheese Truck brand. The company subsequently changed its name to The Grilled Cheese Truck, followed by another name change to American Patriot Brands (APB). In 2012, when Grant left the company, the company merged with TRIG Acquisition 1, Inc., forming Grilled Cheese Truck, Inc. This merger helped to expand the company to other markets and they have plans to become the first publicly traded food truck.[11] The company also enlisted General Wesley Clark (USA, Ret.) to help bring The Grilled Cheese Truck national. His primary focus is to help promote, identify, train, support and help franchise return service veterans with their own Grilled Cheese Trucks.[12][13] APB never completed its franchise filings with the Federal Trade Commission or the State of California. At its peak, APB operated 10 trucks, eight of which were company-owned and two of which were licensed. APB did not disclose any per truck financial information in its SEC filings. During the period that the eight company-owned trucks operated, the company generated $3,650,021 in revenue and a net loss of $7,712,208, as disclosed in its last 10-K filing for the period ending December 31, 2014. APB is not current in its SEC filings as of January 18, 2017.

2016–July 2020: Big Cheese, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware on September 16, 2016. On October 4, 2016, it acquired the Grilled Cheese Truck brand with the attendant trademarks pursuant to an Intellectual Property Rights Purchase agreement with Dave Danhi, founder. Danhi had reacquired the rights on September 23, 2016 from APB, which had originally acquired the rights from Danhi. APB had re-positioned itself in the cannabis business, which created the opportunity for Danhi to reacquire the brand.

July 2020: On July 14, 2020 over social media, Danhi announced via social media that The Grilled Cheese Truck was to permanently close by the end of the month.[14]

Crowdfunding Endeavors[edit]

Big Cheese Inc., owner of The Grilled Cheese Truck brand, filed a Form-C on January 18, 2017 to raise capital through JOBS Act securities regulations on Microventures.[15] The Grilled Cheese Truck successfully closed the first ever Reg CF equity crowdfunding campaign by a food truck on Microventures with 332 investors investing $199,186 on April 1, 2017.[16]

Spotlight and awards[edit]

The Grilled Cheese Truck has been awarded accolades including:

  • Los Angeles Hot List: 2011 #1 Food Truck in LA[17]
  • Los Angeles Times: Reader's Choice 2012 - Best Food Truck[18]
  • Culture Cheese Mag's 10 Best Grilled Cheese Trucks"[3]
  • LA Weekly's Top 10 Sandwiches in Los Angeles[4]
  • Grant, Danhi and the truck have had television appearances on The Price is Right,[5] Unwrapped,[6] House of Food, Be Our Guest, The Rachael Ray Show,[7] The Joan and Melissa Show, and The Cooking Channel.[8]
  • Thrillist Los Angeles' Best Food Trucks[19]
  • Relish: America's 10 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches[20]
  • The Daily Meal: Los Angeles 15 Best Food Trucks of 2013[21]
  • 2013 #1 People's Choice Award at the Grilled Cheese Invitational[22]
  • Danhi's grilled cheese recipes have appeared in talk shows, magazines, blogs [9] and cookbooks.[10] Including The Wakey Bacon Melt,[23] The Cheesy Mac 'N Rib,[24] and others.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Grilled Cheese Truck". QSR magazine. Retrieved 2020-03-20.
  2. ^ Kneiszel, Judy. "The Grilled Cheese Truck". QSR Magazine. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  3. ^ a b Seftel, Briana. "10 Best: Grilled Cheese Trucks". Culture Cheese Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  4. ^ a b Narins, Rachael. "10 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in Los Angeles". LA Weekly. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  5. ^ a b "A Grilled Cheese Showcase". Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Unwrapped: Midnight Munchies". Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  7. ^ a b "The Food Truck Craze". The Rachael Ray Show. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  8. ^ a b "The Cooking Channel: Grilled Cheese Battle". Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  9. ^ a b Gim, Sarah J. "Cheesy Mac n Rib Recipe from The Grilled Cheese Truck". Tastespotting: the blog. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  10. ^ a b Elliott, Debbie. "Food Truck Cookbook Tracks Best Meals Served On Wheels". Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  11. ^ Meagher, Bill. "The Grilled Cheese Truck raising up to $5M in general-solicitation offering Read more: The Grilled Cheese Truck raising up to $5M in general solicitation offering". Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  12. ^ Aldridge, James. "The Grilled Cheese Truck eyeing San Antonio for veterans franchise expansion". The San Antonio Business Journal. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  13. ^ Lindenberg, Brett. "The Grilled Cheese Truck: Powered by Social Media, Veterans, and Founder Dave Danhi". Food Truck Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  14. ^ "Dave Danhi". Retrieved 2020-07-16.
  15. ^ "Big Cheese Inc. Form-C Filing".
  16. ^ Inc., MicroVenture Marketplace. "MicroVentures | Invest in The Grilled Cheese Truck". Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  17. ^ "Food Truck - Best of 2011".
  18. ^ "Readers' Choice 2012: Food & Restaurants".
  20. ^ "America's 10 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches".
  21. ^ "Los Angeles' 15 Best Food Trucks".
  23. ^ "The Wakey Bacon Melt".
  24. ^ "The Cheesy Mac 'N Rib".

13. Goldstein, Peter J. ,US Foods VS Grilled Cheese Military, Inc 16K07489, FINRA Examination 20140407552, SEC, US Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Florida, CASE 98-20914-RBR

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]