This past Monday, as I approached my office, I spotted a new, bright red food truck in Love Park. I was intrigued.
"Schmear It," emblazoned across a light blue skyline, brought only one thing to mind: bagels.
The man inside the truck was wearing a Tribe 12  T-shirt, which fascinated me even more, since I was a 2012 Tribe 12 Fellow.
So here's the deal with Schmear It: Their delicous bagels are from the popular family-owned and -operated South Street Bagels . Once you place your order, the counterperson toasts your bagel and adds fresh toppings such as cream cheese, vegan "cream cheese" and lox. Their menu goes a little outside the circle with customized toppings like the Nutty Naner, a bagel topped with peanut butter, nutella and banana. They even offer a build-your-own option, where you can choose your bagel, topping and fixing.
What makes Schmear It a bit different from other food trucks is its focus on social entrepreneurship, which they've punnily coined, "Spreading some good."
The truck will feature a different local cause each week. A portion of that week’s sales will then be donated to the designated nonprofit organization, and the truck will become, quite literally, a marketing vehicle, displaying information about the cause — its mission, local impact, ways to get involved — along with additional content featured on its website and social media pages.
According to Danielle Selber, who oversees the Tribe 12 Fellowship and also co-directs the Collaborative social networking group, "Schmear It is a great example of the kinds of ventures the Tribe 12 Fellowship looks to support — it's original, sustainable and has a strong social good component."
The following is excerpted from an email interview I had with Chief Schmearer Dave Fine, a 2013 Tribe 12 Fellow:
The social aspect stems from my background and interests in the nonprofit sector. I worked for a nonprofit for almost two years and truly believe in working toward "doing good," but I wondered if one could do good as well — if not better — from a for-profit platform, like Tom's of Maine or Warby Parker, two companies in which I've developed a keen interest. I'm trying to do something similar in the food industry. Schmear It is an attempt to build this unique, fun, socially informed food concept in which customers are empowered as do-gooders with no additional cost or effort.
Schmear It Good,
The Bubbi Project