Waffles on a stick
“If you work hard, pray hard, and you’re earnest about it, you can do anything you put your mind to. [Getting accepted to BYUH] was a really good launch pad to realize I could make it happen.”
– Tyler Johnson
Ty's Beach Bus
About Ty's Beach Bus
Tyler Johnson, a senior at BYUH, opened his own food truck in Kahuku to fulfill his dream of having one. Johnson said, “I want to create a happy food truck experience. When I came home from my mission, food trucks were the craze. I fell in love with food trucks.”
Johnson, a business finance major from Arizona, completed about five semesters at BYU Idaho before transferring to BYU Hawaii. He said, “I wanted a truck for a long time, but it wasn’t really viable in Idaho because I would have to close it up when it’s cold and snowy, which is mostly all year round. When I transferred to Hawaii, I realized it was the best opportunity to make my dream happen.”
“I realized that Hawaii, being so big in food trucks, would be the best place to do it. I knew that the Lord was opening doors for me and with His help, I could do so many things beyond me,” Johnson added.
According to Johnson, he played with the food truck idea for a year and put everything together mentally. “When I moved out [from Idaho], I bought the bus from a guy out in Haleiwa. I started outfitting the truck right away, and whenever I didn’t have class, I worked on it. I painted it, made it look pretty, and finally put all the equipment in it.”
Originally Johnson wanted a soda truck, but claimed he needed another item to really bring people in. He relayed, “One night, we had hotdogs for dinner. The next morning, I made waffles and I thought, ‘What if I put this together?’ So I stuck a hotdog in my waffle, and it was delicious.”
Johnson decided to call his creation the “Weenie Waffle.” He mentioned it is his favorite item on the menu. “It’s a killer. I preach the ‘Weenie Waffle’. People are pretty tentative of it, but the adventurous people always get it, and they love it.
“I googled waffle dog, and found machines in China and Budapest that make them. This was when I realized there was a lot more I could do with that machine. I have just been experimenting and coming up with new things to include on the menu,” he continued.
For those who don’t get the “Weenie Waffle”, Johnson said there are other dessert waffle options such as “Double Stuff,” which according to Johnson, is his favorite dessert style waffle that has oreos and nutella or peanut butter.
When asked about the best part of the job, Johnson replied, “I have always wanted to own a business. It has been very fulfilling to come to work and see the things I have been dreaming of and knowing I created it.
“I love when customers come back and just want more. Sometimes, while I’m working, I hear people talking about how good [the waffles are], and it just makes me happy,” Johnson added.
About the highlights of his food truck, Johnson said, “Other [food truck employees] will just shout your number, but I like to connect and meet people even just by asking them how their day is going. I usually have music going and a ping pong table outside so people can come and hangout. It’s cool to feel like people’s days have been made better by coming to my bus.”
Johnson mentioned his “two favorite things are traveling and food trucks. Every time I travel, I find a food truck. I’ve been to food trucks in Ecuador, Mexico, New York, London, D.C.
“When I kind of felt tired going to school, I moved to D.C. and got two internships that I was excited about. I started setting goals and going places, realizing I could do anything I really wanted,” he continued.
After being denied by BYUH twice, Johnson said, “Coming to BYUH was very empowering to me. I always got into Provo and Idaho. But I finally got in to Hawaii and transferred with my sisters.
“It just helped me realize that if you work hard, pray hard, and you’re earnest about it, you can do anything you put your mind to. It was a really good launch pad to come out here and realize I could make it happen,” Johnson added.
Article by Denali Loflin