Local Food Truck and UConn ‘Fixture' Feeling Effects of Pandemic

Lizzie's Curbside will not be on campus this fall for the first time in decades.

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Lizzie's Curbside, a food truck that has been a staple at the University of Connecticut since 1991, will not be on campus for the fall semester.

"The decision is the only one I could make because I can't go up there and just stand there," explained Lizzie Searing, owner of Lizzie's Catering and Concessions. "If I don't sell the food, I lose the food."

With half of all UConn students studying entirely online this fall semester, Searing said that the foot traffic has dramatically decreased. She went to campus last week, hopeful for a good semester, but said that she sold about 30 sandwiches in the span of two days. Searing said that she usually sells 30 sandwiches in 30 minutes.

"It is just really frustrating and very upsetting," said Searing.

Searing describes her food as fresh and eclectic. She usually prepares different specials everyday and says that her food has flare.

"She is so creative when it comes to her menu," said Rachel D''Antonio, a loyal customer. "She totally encourages us customers to be just as creative."

Searing started her business in 1991 with just a small hot dog cart. February will mark her 30th year at UConn. Over the years her business has blossomed. She now owns a kitchen in Coventry, a catering business, and an entire fleet of vehicles.

More importantly to Searing, she has built a community along the way.

"The students and faculty at UConn...they are like family," said Searing.

"Lizzie is a staple," said D'Antonio. "She is a member of this community."

A spokesperson for the University of Connecticut called Lizzie's Curbside a "fixture" and said that it will be hard to imagine campus with out her sandwiches this semester.

While Lizzie will not return for the fall semester, she is hoping to be back in the spring. She will still be catering small events and popping up at some local breweries.

Searing said that she is grateful for the memories she has made at UConn and hopes to be back soon.

"I just hope that it comes back," said Searing. "Don't feel bad for me. Understand that this is happening all around the world and just really affecting small businesses like this. I will persevere."

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