Prepping for a Dust up at the Fort Worth Food + Wine Fest
March 28, 2023 | Stephen Montoya | FortWorth Magazine
Dusty Biscuit Beignets owner talks about his plans for expansion and his menu for the upcoming fest.
Dusty Biscuit Beignets owner, Trey Smith, has come a long way since he made the decision to start a food truck business three years ago fully unaware, that we were all on the cusp of a global pandemic. But Smith has weathered this ill-timed opening successfully. So much so, that he has moved out of a food truck to a brick-and-mortar location at 411 S Main Street a few years ago. But that isn’t to say a food truck idea is far from his mind. In fact, Smith says he is considering expanding his French Quarter confections full circle back to — you guessed it – another food truck. All of this while still running his business and teaching science to young minds full-time.
“I just went back to the classroom about two months ago,” Smith says. “I did this as part of a business growth strategy, so I can stop paying myself here, and try to get another mobile food truck going.”
This strategy brings Smith full circle, back to where it all began in 2020. Since then, Smith says he stepped away from teaching for three years to run Dusty Biscuit. Prior to that, he verified that he taught science for a decade before stepping out on his own business-wise.
“This really was a side hustle idea,” Smith says with a smile. “I knew I had to narrow down an idea if we were to ever get something off the ground, so we went with something I learned about in college, beignets.”
This idea would prove fruitful given that Smith says he did a quick pop-up at Leaves Book and Tea shop in 2019. “We did close to 90 orders in two hours,” he says. “The rest is history.”
Now, Dusty Biscuits Beignets is prepping for this week’s Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival, with a few new offerings that should have attendees in fried food heaven. This year Smith says Dusty Biscuit will be involved with the Tacos and Tequila event as well as the Night Market.
“I know it seems a little odd that we will be doing Tacos and Tequila when we are known for our beignets,” Smith says. “That being said, we are doing Rio Grande Valley-style lonches (lawn-chays), that are street tacos made with fried bread. We will be doing our beignet version of it there.”
But this wouldn’t be Smith’s first foray into savory-style confections. Dusty Beignets currently boasts five savory menu items that include Dusty Cristo Sliders, Bacon JalaCheeto Popper beignets, Dusty Biscuits & Gravy, Sausage & Dusty Biscuit Sliders, and an Everything Beignet. The latter consists of cream cheese and everything bagel seasoning.
“I have never seen anyone else serving this style of food do a savory beignet, and it works,” he says. “This was my way of finding something unique in the market that not a lot of people are doing.”
For the Night Market, Smith is doing a take on a New Orleans beignet called a cala, made with rice. “This is what newly freed slaves would make and sell on the streets, which is an original OG, street food,” he says. “We might have another beignet on that night, I just haven’t decided on which one yet.”
With these plans already firmly in place, Smith has been in prep mode for over a week to get enough inventory setup for these two events.
“We have a fantastic team now, it wasn’t all that long ago it was just me,” Smith says.