Local family jump starts unique business in Chippewa Falls - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Local family jump starts unique business in Chippewa Falls

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Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - A new place to grab some grub in Chippewa Falls is rolling out in style, Ray and Lou's Doghouse serves up their meals, on wheels.

"We got the truck. It was a fire rescue truck from Minnesota, so we got it back here, we gutted the whole thing out," says Louis Puzio, a Co-Owner of Ray and Lou's Doghouse.  

For Puzio, starting the business meant keeping a family tradition alive. From 1983 to 1986, his grandfather Warren Frances, had a food truck that served Italian classics around the Eau Claire area.

Puzio says," We had a bigger family; it was me, my two brothers and my sister. And then I have four uncles that are all around the same age as I am. And when we were younger we all used to work the stand. And we're all Italian, so a lot of Italian food."

Back then, things were a little different. The family had to travel back and forth from New Jersey to stock their supplies. 

"I remember times of going there and getting like forty cases of soda we'd get from the RC Company out there, and we'd come back and we'd stop at a wayside and be sleeping on the pop cans on the back of the truck with all the food and everything. It was old school," says Puzio.  

WQOW News 18 asked Puzio if he had any concerns about starting a unique business in today's economy. He says,"Seeing that there's not a lot of them (food trucks) out there... And we only saw one in Eau Claire and that's kind of why we are basing it out of here. We shot for that target and actually, it's been doing pretty well, little by little."

And this business is truly all in the family; Puzio co-owns the business with his Uncle Ray. His future in-laws, fiancé, sister and children, are also involved.

Puzio says, "We did this, basically for the family. Because it was a family environment before, and this way we can get our kids involved."

Puzio believes his grandfather would be proud, "I think he would be very ecstatic with what we're doing because of him, with what he originally started. You know, it was a real big deal to him."

Right now, the truck is parked at the former Pool People Store in Chippewa Falls. They are open Monday through Friday. 

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