Community coming together to help Agawam food truck

The owners of a local food truck are in need of the community’s help after losing one restaurant during COVID-19 and they’re now in danger of losing another.
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 4:30 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2022 at 4:57 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AGAWAM, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - The owners of a local food truck are in need of the community’s help after losing one restaurant during COVID-19 and they’re now in danger of losing another.

Thai Chili, a Thai street food truck in Agawam, needs help. After a long string of upsets, this couple needs some good luck on their side. Owner Supicha Hillenbrand told Western Mass News what they’re dealing with.

“Me and my husband used to own in Italian restaurant in Botega Cucina in West Springfield and during COVID, it hit and people started being able to make some pasta at home and we see a lot of declining in the business…We finally sold the place and so we lost our restaurant during the COVID and the only thing we have left pretty much is the food truck,” Supicha Hillenbrand explained.

However, they wanted their food truck to be different from typical Italian cuisine, so Hillenbrand decided to go back to her roots.

“A lot of customers ask when they can test a piece of Thai food and so ever since I got the confidence to, you know, serving and sharing my recipes my mom taught me,” Supicha Hillenbrand added.

For the Hillenbrands, things started to look up when they secured a spot at The Big E this year, thanks to their famous Thai fries, until their truck’s engine broke.

“All of a sudden, the truck give up on the highway,” Supicha Hillenbrand said.

“I heard a little pop underneath where the motor is and it sounded like a belt,” Philip Hillenbrand added.

“We had to tow the truck back and it’s here, so it’s just sitting with the truck right here in the parking lot and hopefully, we can get it fixed,” Supicha Hillenbrand explained.

With The Big E just over two weeks away, the couple said they just might have to get it towed to the fairgrounds. Philip told us his mechanic won’t be able to fix the truck until the end of October, but that comes with a hefty price tag-

“Between $12,000 to $15,000. Our financial is kind of drained out because of how we put so much money in The Big E to get in,” Philip Hillenbrand explained.

Community members have rallied together and set up a GoFundMe page to show support for the Hillenbrands, just like the couple did for others earlier in the pandemic.

“We had a lot of inventory, so we donate food, over 2,000 meals in the last three months to the local hospital like Baystate, Mercy, and Cooley Dickinson,” Supicha Hillenbrand noted.

Philip Hillenbrand’s goal now: “My hope is to get this food truck running and so it can be doing our circuit again.”