- By Keisha Rowe Staff Writer
A Springfield staple has decided to put the brakes on its mobile food operation for good.
The Ramen Rickshaw, owned by Springfield firefighter Korge Mori and his wife, Kelly, announced this week via Facebook and Instagram that the food truck would be shutting down after being part of the city’s food scene for four years in order to spend more time with their family, especially with a new grandchild due soon.
Nearly 250 people left comments on the truck’s Facebook post lamenting the closure within 24 hours of the announcement.
“You’re the only food truck I would stand in line 45 minutes for (or really more than 10),” Jennifer Turner said. “Going to miss you guys!”
“My pup and I have stood in line many times, sometimes very long freezing lines, but it has always been worth it,” Amber Strawser said. “I would go cry in my ramen, but alas I have none!”
Mori got the idea for opening Ramen Rickshaw because his family has a history in the food business. He said three of his aunts owned noodle restaurants in Japan.
“There was a really big ramen craze, so I thought to myself, ‘There’s no reason this can’t work,’” he said.
The truck turned from a part-time hobby to do in his down time from the Springfield Fire/Rescue Division to a full-time business venture. Running the food truck was a fun and interesting experience with its own highs and lows, Mori said, but he decided he and his wife wanted to spend more time with family.
“At the end of the day, this is just a business decision,” he said. “I do want to be able to take care of my family.”
Being part of the Springfield food scene has been an incredible experience, Mori said.
“Seeing 20 to 30 people lined up for something that you’ve created for them with your own hands, there’s nothing like that,” he said. “It was so fun to have people line up and be able to serve them like we did.”
Mori and his wife have been touched by the outpouring of support and the sadness at losing the truck so many people have expressed so far. His Instagram and Facebook posts have been viewed more than 20,000 times and have more than 1,000 shares.
“It’s been very humbling to see everyone reaching out,” he said.
While he plans on focusing on his family for the foreseeable future and he’s selling the truck and all the equipment, Mori said a comeback somewhere down the line is possible.
“We are entrepreneurs and we want to keep that entrepreneurial spirit going,” he said. “It won’t be this year or next year, but maybe sometime in the future. It’s just not in the cards right now.”
Mori thanked everyone for supporting the truck for the past four years and encouraged people to give more food trucks in the area a chance.
“When you start this, you look at it like it’s just a business,” he said. “But looking at it now, it’s more like your friends and family that you’re serving. I hope more food trucks are able to view their customers the way we viewed ours.”
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