Redwood Wagon food truck adapts to pandemic with ‘cloud kitchen’ concept in Worthington

Michael Laughlin (left) Redwood Wagon food truck and catering general manager, and Kyle Hood, co-owner of the business, are shown with one of their Americana bowls Jan. 13 at their prep kitchen in Worthington. Hood and his business partners opened a carryout and delivery service at the prep kitchen in December to help bolster sales in response to losses during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Entrepreneur Kyle Hood, one of the owners and operators of the Redwood Wagon food truck based in Worthington, found himself in a similar position to business owners around the country when the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic took hold in March 2020.

The business was growing rapidly in the years since Hood, a Worthington Kilbourne High School graduate, launched it in fall 2017 with family members and relatives, he said.

But Hood said the pandemic presented Redwood Wagon with its biggest challenge yet. 

“We had a growing business,” he said. “And because of the pandemic, everything came to a halt. We had to kind of evolve and figure out ways to continue to offer our services.”

Hood describes Redwood Wagon as an “Americana bowl concept” that allows customers to create custom bowls with a base of shredded beef, pulled chicken or pulled pork that is layered with such toppings as mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, caramelized onions, cheeses and jalapeños.

One of Redwood Wagon's create-your-own Americana bowls filled with macaroni and cheese, pork, corn, pepperjack cheese, yellow squash, zucchini, red onions and topped with barbecue sauce and chipotle aioli is shown Jan. 13 at the business' prep kitchen in Worthington. Redwood's owners opened a carryout and delivery service at the prep kitchen in December.

Customers also may opt for a sandwich instead of a bowl or go for a savory garlic and chive waffle bowl, if they wish.

“We always call ourselves the Americana Chipotle,” Hood said.

As they seek to adapt to the new business landscape amid the pandemic, Hood and his partners opened a carryout and delivery service in mid-December out of their prep kitchen at 6969 Worthington Galena Road, Suite F, in Worthington.