When Libby Miller began her own catering company, she had no idea it would take off so quickly. From its first day nearly eight years ago, Five Sisters Catering was an obvious success. Currently, the award-winning catering service also exists in food truck form, as Five Sisters Food Co. This local favorite is the latest to join our series, The Best New Jersey Food Trucks.
The Miller family, who hail from Little Egg Harbor, bought their very first food truck in 2014. Shortly thereafter, Five Sisters Food Co. was born. Libby, and her husband George, soon brought their young daughters – Ashley, Hailey, Summer, Savannah, and Piper – into the business. Overall, the ladies love (almost) every second of it; from learning the ins and outs of the business to serving countless customers, the sisters agree it never gets old.
What the Truck (is All About)
The truck offers a variety of specialty burgers and fat sandwiches. Although such offerings may sound familiar, Libby uniquely crafts each item on Five Sisters’ menu herself; in fact, no other eatery can duplicate what the truck offers.
“We call it ‘Libby’s trucks,’” said George. “It’s her business. It’s her menu, her recipes, all her stuff… And she has won so many awards. She’s been in the top 100 food trucks for the past three years. She won ‘best caterer in Ocean County’ five times. And she won ‘best burger truck in America.’”
As grueling as the work can be, Ashley (the oldest sister) says the food trucking community is a rewarding one. But even during the worst conditions, it helps to have six close family members by your side.
To learn more about Five Sisters Food Co., Best of NJ got the inside scoop from Ashley and George.
The Best New Jersey Food Trucks: Five Sisters Food Co. Interview
Best of NJ: Tell us about the catering experience you offer.
Ashley: We do anything from birthday parties to graduations. We’d do backyard barbecues and even weddings. We come fully loaded with all of the tables and the utensils and everything set up; a full set-up and clean-up. Sometimes we even have people serving if they need servers.
We want to make sure it’s always a special event. We want to make sure everyone has a memorable time. Even birthday parties and graduation parties—those are events that they’re going to remember for the rest of their lives; so we want to make sure that we always give them 100 percent of what we’ve got.
BONJ: How did your mom get into catering?
Ashley: Well, she’s always been the best cook. She always made the best meals. Whenever we’d go out to eat, she’d always come home and make the meals better than the actual restaurant [laughs]. It’s crazy, because she can just taste something and then go home and whip it up, no recipe or anything. So she decided to start a business in 2010-2011, and branch out a little bit.
George Miller: Libby would always cook, and once the kids got older, we thought, Hey, why don’t we start a catering business? We partnered up with a local restaurant, and we used their kitchen.
Ashley: She made a website, and as soon as it launched, we were booked every weekend basically all year round. Then one summer, my dad bought a smoker, and we started doing pig roasts. That name of that business was iPigRoast. Then that winter we found a food truck on Craigslist… Now we have two food trucks and a storefront on Long Beach Island.
BONJ: Where on LBI is your storefront?
Ashley: It’s in Fantasy Island Amusement Park. It’s called Shark Bites Grille, and it opened [in spring 2018].
BONJ: Does Shark Bites Grille offer the same menu?
Ashley: It does. The only difference is we have loaded ribbon fries there. It’s basically just potatoes spiral cut and fried, and we use sweet potatoes. So it comes out as this big heaping boat; and we’ll load them with pulled pork and crab and cheese, bacon, sour cream.
All Time Faves
BONJ: What are some specialty items that the truck offers?
Ashley: We have this five-cheese mac and cheese inside a waffle cone; and my mom makes this Applewood smoked bacon barbecue jam, and that’s put on top. We also have fries with jumbo lump crab dip, and we load it up with pulled pork.
We also get pork belly on our truck every once in a while. It’s essentially what bacon is made out of, but it’s a thick slab of it, and we slow roast it; then my mom makes garlic aioli and Asian slaw dressing. All of the ingredients melt together and melt in your mouth. We won a bunch of awards for that, so it’s one of the more popular items we offer; but it’s really hard to get. We purchase it from a German butcher, and he doesn’t have it all the time.
BONJ: What is your most popular menu item?
Ashley: I would say the pork belly when we have it, but also the Whiskey Tango Sliders. We actually won best burger truck in America for that. It’s a cheddar cheeseburger with bacon, whiskey glaze, bourbon barbecue sauce, and a fried onion blossom on top. That’s my favorite too. I eat it almost every day, and I’ve been working here for five, six years. I can never get sick of it [laughs].
BONJ: Do you remember your first event with the truck?
George: One of our first shows was at Laurita Winery. It was me, Libby, Ashley, and Hailey—my two older girls—and Ashley was 15…
Ashley: And Hailey was 12, and she was on the fryer at 12 years old [laughs].
George: [Laughs]. We didn’t know what to expect. We got to Laurita and opened up, and there was a line all the way up the path. But we did it.
Ashley: Yeah, we learned throughout the years—what worked, what didn’t.
George: We’re still learning stuff. The nice thing with the truck is that it keeps us all together, and that’s what I like about it. I’m a firefighter up north, and I’ll be gone for a couple days a week; and I don’t get to see everyone, but it’s nice with the truck that we’re all together. We get to see different venues and meet new people.
BONJ: Do you find that you and your sisters all have different roles on the truck?
Ashley: Hailey and I are almost always on the truck, and Savannah and Piper are usually at Shark Bites.
On the truck, I usually do the sliders, and Hailey does the fat sandwiches. Hailey is so good. It’s like a machine, how fast she is. She’s so good at it.
BONJ: What are some events you’ll be attending to close out the summer?
Ashley: We’ll be at Monmouth Park Race Track and Sea Isle City. We’re at Laurita Winery every month until December, and then we get a break in January; then it picks up again in February. We’ll also be in Point Pleasant for a Halloween event, and we’ll be at Allaire State Park.
Want to learn more about The Best New Jersey Food Trucks? Then check out our previous features of JimmyDawn’s, Bearded One BBQ, House of Cupcakes, WTF? Food Truck & Guac Spot. Or you can click here for the full series.
All Photos: © Patrick Lombardi / Best of NJ