Name: Lori Yotides

Age: 46

Title: Owner

Company: Spiro and Co., Belgrade

About: A food truck based in Belgrade Lakes Village serving homemade Greek food seasonally.

Website: www.spiroandcompany.com

What’s your biggest challenge right now?

Expanding the business. We would actually like to have a permanent location versus a food truck. We are bursting out. Our volume is too big. We’ve been in business five years. This summer, we’re like: We’ve got to move. Most of our advertising that we do, with the paper — with the paper a little bit — but most of it is word-of-mouth. We have customers that drive up from Portland for our food, all over the state. I don’t know if you know anything about me, but it’s all handmade, organic, all natural, fresh. People just love us. They’re like, “Where’s your restaurant? Where’s your restaurant? Where’s your restaurant?” Normally, a food truck has a restaurant. There’s so much more than I could do, but I am limited to the space that I have. There’s so much more than I could offer.

We’re always looking (for a restaurant location). We’re looking at one this week. If the right spot hits us, and it fits what we’re looking for, we would do it. It would be this fall. If the right opportunity knocks at our door, we would take it.

What’s the best advice that anyone has ever given you?

I think it was from my husband (Tim Yotides). Be true to yourself. Don’t try to be everybody’s something, You do Greek food extremely well, and stay with it.

And do it right. You know what? Do it right. I’m not going to cheapen my product. I’m not going to cut corners. I do what I do and I do it well. And people love it because I do it that way. If I can’t do it right, I’m not going to do it at all. That’s what my father (Art Higgins) always told me.

How do you foster creativity in yourself or your staff?

I have a saying in the truck. We make gyros, so I say, “Make them right and wrap them tight.” The way you would for your grandmother or your boyfriend. I say if you make a mistake, don’t send it out. You make it the way it should be made or your don’t send it out. I don’t tolerate food that is not to my standard.

I always tell them I am open to suggestions. I might not follow them, but you might have something, so we’ll try it, and if it doesn’t work, we’ll go back to how we were doing it. Over the course of years, it’s been procedural — put a number on the ticket or a name. It’s not been the food.

What’s your biggest concern right now?

The prices of food every year seem to be going up. I try to make it affordable for families. Because my season is so short, I would rather see a family of four or five come to my food truck every other week instead of pricing it so high that it’s once a year what they can afford. It’s the cost of goods and making sure that I am affordable for everybody across the board for everybody to come and experience the Greek food and have their kids try it.

Where do you see your business in five years?

I would definitely keep the food truck, because we are kind of nestled in Belgrade Lakes, Maine, and people who summer here absolutely love it. And we live right on Main Street, so we have the perfect spot. People ask me every other day to move, to travel, and I don’t because I don’t have to. We have a very unique situation.

I see myself opening a very successful business in the next five years that I would like to hand down to my son, more of a take-out. I think more of a cafe style, rather than a full-blown restaurant.

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