Holy Cacao Rolls Into America's Hottest Food Scene

Share Article

As the new wave of Food Trucks and Trailers redefine laid-back dining around the country, Holy Cacao, Austin's chocolate-centric dessert trailer and pioneering mobile cake ball specialists, pull in to sweeten the deal.

They told me that everybody was always calling and wanting to do a story on the trailer

When Ellen Kinsey and John Spillyards opened Holy Cacao, their chocolate-centric dessert trailer and pioneering mobile cake ball shop—a lively art-splashed emporium of indulgent delights that' has quickly become part of the iconic South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery complex—they simultaneously tapped into and enriched the most exciting and fastest growing food-service phenomenon in the country.

All over the U.S.—with Texas, California, and New York leading the way, as they so often do—talented young chefs and pastry-makers are offering their wares not out of conventional restaurants and bakeries but from an armada of brightly colored, whimsically named, professionally equipped catering trucks, glorified street carts, converted Airstream trailers, and other moveable feastiaries.

These roadside and parking-lot purveyors take their inspiration from the construction-site delis-on-wheels and itinerant taco wagons that have become an inescapable part of the urban landscape from coast to coast in recent decades. The difference is that, unlike many of their predecessors, they serve great food, made by hand, cooked to order, full of imagination and zest and based on the finest fresh ingredients.

The inspiration for Holy Cacao, says Ellen, came from a pioneer of the Austin trailer-food scene, Torchy's Tacos, which operates a trailer at the South Austin complex as well as a number of brick-and-mortar taco shops around town (and a new one in Dallas). "They told me that everybody was always calling and wanting to do a story on the trailer," she says, "but nobody mentions the regular stores." There's obviously just something special about the informality and authenticity of the food-truck or -trailer experience. Ellen calls it "trailer chic".

Everybody seems to love the idea. In Southern California, the Kogi trucks—there are now four of them, ranging all over Los Angeles and Orange counties—have become famous for their hybrid Mexican-Korean street food (think kimchee quesadillas). In New York City this June, the fourth annual NYC Food Film Festival featured "the World's First Food Truck Drive-In Movie"—an outdoor screening of short food films, with eats provided by about 20 trucks from various quarters of the city. Elsewhere in New York, the nationwide BLT Restaurant Group fielded a Go Burger truck, showing up at summer street festivals and food fairs around town.

The New York Times and other national publications have acknowledged and praised the gourmet truck-and-trailer scene. Mississippi-based writer and food historian John T. Edge is writing a whole book on the phenomenon, called Truck Food Nation and features Holy Cacao in the upcoming book.

One of the most imaginative food trailers around remains Austin's Holy Cacao, which serves three kinds of hot chocolate (both hot and frozen), Cake Shakes, Roast Your Own S'mores kits (complete with handmade marshmallows), and, most of all, an array of cake balls—those irresistible, typically Texan desserts that are basically spheres of cake which are mixed with frosting then completely enclosed by chocolate and served on Popsicle sticks. "I like the concept of making dessert fun," says Ellen. "And I love working the trailer because everyone who comes up is in a good mood. If you're standing in line to get a cake ball, there's no way you're going to be in a grumpy mood."

Holy Cacao is a gourmet dessert trailer offering unusual items such as Cake Balls, Cake Shakes, S’mores, and Frozen Hot Chocolate at affordable prices. From the unique menu options to the trailer’s original artwork, Holy Cacao provides an authentic Austin experience. The Cake Balls are available individually at the trailer or by the dozen and can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. Call 512-851-CAKE (2253) or email orders(at)theholycacao(dot)com. Located in the South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery at 1311 South First Street, Austin, Texas 78704. Visit us at http://www.theholycacao.com. Remember…chocolate is good for you.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Pam Blanton
Visit website