She later became editor in chief of the Culinary Institute newspaper, she said, writing about coffee and other food businesses, while also learning people skills and networking. Starting in 2013, she worked for Lyme-based Ashlawn Farm Coffee, opening up as the Old Saybrook location’s first manager before moving onto Sift Bakery in Mystic for two years, where she learned new skills in food preparation and management from owner Adam Young, recently named during a Food Network series as Best Baker in America.
“I learned an insurmountable amount of information from him about starting a business,” Neri said. “There was no sugar coating with him.”
Neri said she knows Connecticut is a tough place to start a business, which is why she wanted to start small with a food truck rather than plunging immediately into operating a coffee shop or bakery.
So far, her truck can be seen regularly at only the two Waterford events and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays at Grace boutique in Niantic.
It also has been seen at special events such as Celebrate East Lyme and the recent Fireman’s Fair in Waterford.
The petite truck turns heads wherever Neri goes, with its unusual European profile and custom-made interior. Neri said much of the truck’s special retrofitting was accomplished thanks to boyfriend Gordon Adams, who works for Adams Builders.