CR7 Catering food truck in Manchester serves up sausages, kielbasa and a whole lot more
MANCHESTER — Cooking has been a passion of Jeff Gallahan’s for years, and he’s handcrafted sausages and kielbasa for friends for years.
Gallahan, who is Manchester town supervisor and a salesman, and his wife, Lynn, also cater on the side, mostly for friends, weddings, graduation parties and rehearsal dinners.
When asked, he will cut deer meat — just ask his buddies, who have asked him.
“I love to cook,” said Gallahan, whose friends suggested that if he loves it so much — and they’re so good at it — he should go into business. And with only a few more years left on the road in sales, Gallahan listened.
The CR7 Catering food truck operation features his homemade sausages. The business opened up about three weeks ago on South Main Street, in front of the Family Dollar store. As their slogan suggests, they’re “all grilled up.”
In fact, friends are behind the name of the business. The Gallahans live on County Road 7.
“A bunch of us ride motorcycles together and we always meet at our house,” Lynn said. “So it turned into CR7.”
Lynn said her husband dragged her out of retirement — she used to work at Garlock in Palmyra — and she said she’s glad she did.
“We’ve been busy, so it’s great,” Lynn said.
Although brand new, the idea of doing something like this has been brewing for some time, Gallahan said. Finding the right trailer was a process, as many of the companies wanted to retrofit a trailer that he provided.
“I wanted a food trailer from the ground up,” said Gallahan, who with a friend traveled to several states to find the right trailer and the right company that was willing to take his designs and listen to what he wanted to do.
They found what they wanted in Georgia, although getting this “complete kitchen on wheels” home was like waiting on a rack of ribs in a slow cooker on an empty stomach.
Driving the trailer — which comes with 24-inch flat-top griddle, 24-inch charbroiler, four-burner stove, sandwich prep machine and freezer and refrigerator — back home took four days, at 6 to 7 miles per gallon.
“It was a costly trip,” Gallahan said.
Gallahan also bought the land it sits on and neighboring home, because he said it wouldn’t be right for him to set up on a corner and hurt brick-and-mortar businesses without paying his fair share.
“I wanted to be part of the community,” Gallahan said. “You need skin in the game.”
And judging by the response on a recent sunny lunch hour, CR7 is being accepted — with full stomachs. One of the best parts of the deal: They’re serving people they know.
“I know I know you,” said Lynn to a customer placing an order, during an unexpectedly hectic lunch hour. “What’s your name again?”
Kathy Haas has eaten here two or three times already. The sausage and hot dogs are excellent, she said.
“It’s a nice change from McDonald’s,” Haas said. “There’s not a lot here in town to eat at lunchtime. It’s nice, and seems busier and busier every time we come.”
Josh Hill of Manchester tried the sausage the first time he came, and this day a hamburger, just to mix it up a little.
“It’s a nice little place to have in town,” Hill said. “It beats the gas station or fast food.”
In addition to sausage and kielbasa, visitors can choose from hamburgers, hot dogs, and fried foods. The sausage and kielbasa tend to be big sellers, but people also like the rib-eye sandwich, Lynn said.
“Sometimes it’s this,” Lynn said. “Sometimes it’s that.”
Although they probably won’t be ready this year, diners also will be able to enjoy Gallahan’s homemade hot and sweet pepper relish and hot sauce, which may be the perfect topper to those who relish an extra-spicy Italian sausage.
For now, Gallahan helps out on lunch hours, but Lynn runs it and their daughter helps out during the busy times.
“I liked being retired, but this is a great adventure and something new for us to do,” Lynn said.
Eat, Drink and Be Murphy
The Eat, Drink and Be Murphy column appears online Fridays and in print Saturdays and explores the region’s bounty of food and drink — and the people who bring it to you — soup to nuts, accentuated with a craft beer or Finger Lakes wine. After all, who doesn’t love to eat and drink? Email assistant editor Mike Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 585-337-4229 with ideas and suggestions.