Mobile Kitchen Project for The La Crosse Blue Stars Drum Corp

Check out our latest mobile kitchen project for The La Crosse Blue Stars Drum Corp - Click Here for the video!

The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is a Performing Arts for Youth organization headquartered in La Crosse, WI. Blue Stars was founded in 1964 as a color guard, and soon after added brass and percussion to the roster to become a competitive drum and bugle corps.

As one of the founding members of Drum Corps International, the Blue Stars Corp became a powerhouse in the 1970s before running into financial difficulties in the early 1980s. The group reorganized as a smaller group, competing on the Drum Corps International tour as an A-60/Division II/III corps through the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. During this era, the Blue Stars were 19-time finalists and the 1989, 1993, 2001, and 2003 World Champions.

Their competitive season is from mid-May through mid-August. During that time, the corps will be continuously on the road traveling nearly 15,000 miles participating in about 28 competitions across 18-20 states. Members come from across the United States as well as International locations. In 2006, the Blue Stars Corp made its return to World Class competition, becoming a perennial finalist and has been thrilling audiences throughout the United States ever since.

Introducing the Cullenary Cafe  

2020 was a tough year, but one bright spot for the Blue Stars team, their members, volunteers, and staff, is the completion of the Cullenary Cafe, built by the Kentucky Trailer Custom Specialty Division in Wixom, Michigan. Named for Charlie Cullen, who made the original donation and initiated the project from a “dream” to “reality”, Charlie has served the Blue Stars’ organization with selfless dedication, and the Cullenary Café is named in his honor. The project took more than three years to go from an idea to finished product, and involved the combined efforts of hundreds of people who care about the Blue Stars and are committed to the organization’s long-term success.

Special thanks goes to: Kentucky Trailer Specialty Vehicles – “Our build partner for the project, Kentucky Trailer, was an absolutely fantastic partner in turning lines on paper into a completed machine. Their build crew had an amazing level of skill and attention to detail and were able to turn our craziest ideas into reality. We highly recommend the Kentucky team if you’re contemplating a similar project.” states Brad Furlano, Blue Stars executive director.

The Cullenary Cafe is estimated to serve the Blue Stars for the next 30 years, and was designed to provide Blue Star kitchen staff and volunteers with a safe and comfortable environment to prepare nutritious and delicious meals for their members and crew. They cannot wait to get back on the road and begin using this amazing kitchen once the pandemic is under control.

This Kentucky Trailer built powerhouse is capable of preparing and serving 800 meals per day and has been custom-designed for the dietary and nourishment needs of the drum corps students and staff. This kitchen trailer contains all the cooking and production, cold storage, food preparation, and sanitation equipment on board to sustain hungry and assorted appetites.

The Cullenary Cafe delivers full industrial kitchen capabilities anywhere, supporting 154 students, and 45 staff members and volunteers.  Over the course of the season, this amounts to nearly 75,000 meals.  

The Blue Stars are well known to have one of the best food programs among the corps. Their Culinary Director is responsible for all meal and nutrition planning, procurement and preparation while on tour.  The food truck is the heart and soul of the corps while on the road.  The new "Cullenary Cafe" replaces their previous Kentucky Trailer food truck that provided the corps 21 years of service, turning out more than 1.3 million meals and traveled nearly 275,000 miles.   

With easy project setup and teardown, this mobile kitchen trailer has also been designed for convenience. This unit accommodates propane and electrical powered cook lines and because it is well ventilated the trailer has the ability to adapt to any climate. This trailer includes ADA compliant ramps, NSF and OSHA approved units that comply with all health department codes throughout the United States.

The Cullenary Cafe comes with three compartment sinks, hand sinks, Ansul fire suppression system, commercial grade appliances and an extra-large built-in cooler with plenty of room for cold-storage. Including the componentry to the latest protocol for mobile kitchens, this fully self-contained kitchen supplies over 451,000 BTUs to the cooking equipment which includes a double stack convention oven, 6-burner industrial grade range, large table top griddle, and tilting skillet.  All of this cooking equipment generates heat, which is offset with four HVAC units for keeping the kitchen environment comfortable. Additional LP gas is provided to the hot water system, and an onboard washer-dryer. Risk of fire concerns are alleviated with the integration of a top-of-the-line NFPA compliant fire suppression system. 

Feeding the drum corps team requires substantial storage needs, which are accommodated with a custom walk-in pantry, walk-in refrigerator, and walk-in freezer.  The interior of the Cullenary Cafe is decked out with high-end finishes, including more than 53-linear feet of custom base and overhead aluminum cabinets, stainless steel walls behind cooking surfaces, and easy-wipe down white walls throughout.  The exterior of the mobile kitchen has a full graphic wrap showcasing the Blue Stars logo and artwork.

Lastly, the mobile kitchen was designed to be used as either a stand-alone kitchen, with an onboard generator, fresh water system, and grey water system, or can utilize existing shore power and shore water availabilities.

Call Kentucky Trailer today, we look forward to assisting with your next mobile project!