SALINE COUNTY -- A Harrisburg family says they started their mobile fried chicken wing business due to both a need for more variety and the challenge of operating a business.
Tiffany and Dustin Kielhorn's bright red trailer, The Wing Wagon, has been popping up frequently around the Harrisburg area, usually with long lines of hungry customers waiting for their wings.
Dustin doesn't mince words when he talks about the reason he and his wife, assisted by their younger son, Triton, started cooking chicken wings for the masses.
"We tried some wings from several other places, and, there's not really a way to put this delicately," Dustin said. "They sucked. I knew we could make a better chicken wing."
During the COVID-19 shutdown, food trucks became regular features in parking lots as many restaurants in the region either were not open for dine-in eating or had limited seating. While food trucks in southern Illinois carried a number of different eats, chicken wings weren't on most menus.
And, Dustin had taken a commercial fryer in trade for a tree trimming job. The timing was perfect, they say.
"We thought we could make wings everyone would like, which fortunately has turned out to be the case," Tiffany said. "Back on my birthday in November, I made some trial batches for family, and I couldn't keep up. Everyone loved them."
That experience, plus a love for starting a new business, galvanized their plan to sell wings commercially.
Now, The Wing Wagon maintains a Facebook page and is developing a website at tiffswingwagon.com. The Facebook page keeps customers up-to-date on where the Wing Wagon will next appear, plus new additions to the menu.