Editor’s Note: This story was written by and republished with the permission of the Big Red Sports Network, which provides excellent Cornell sports coverage throughout the year for alumni, parents, students and fans everywhere.
For Forrest Crawford — a former Cornell baseball player — and his partner Max Richman ’12, the decision to start their own business was spontaneous.
“It was some time last summer… Max and I went for a run — it was a beautiful night for it— and as we were heading back we realized we were hungry,” Crawford recalled. “It literally just came to me … ‘What do you think about crepes?’”
And in that moment, the seeds for Collegetown Crepes were planted.
On October 2, the new food truck will begin operating at the corner of Eddy Street and Dryden Road. The truck will be open from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., according to the Cornell Daily Sun.
“Since I got here in 2009 we’ve seen the decline of Collegetown… the closing of the bars, the restaurants… when I visited Penn State I saw food trucks everywhere, it was part of the college culture there,” he said.
This wasn’t just about the food, Crawford said. It was about bringing something exciting to Collegetown.
Achieving the goal was difficult. Crawford and Richman had to apply for a permit to operate a food truck in the City of Ithaca, a process that required health inspections, food liability insurance, theft insurance, and filing the proper paperwork.
But with each step, it seemed that the universe was begging them to continue. When the City passed new legislation that opened up new curbsides to operate on, Eddy and Dryden was one of them.
When they needed a mobile unit, they found a perfect match at an acceptable price point. And when they needed equipment to outfit the new unit, Crawford found a supplier of commercial kitchen equipment across the street from his home.
But the journey would have never begun if not for his tenure at Cornell University, one heavily influenced by his time with the Cornell baseball team, they said.
Crawford was a second baseman who did not initially make the varsity team due to shoulder issues, but that led him to meet his best friend and business partner Max Richman on the club baseball team.
Crawford still played for three years on the varsity team. He was a part of the 2012 team that made it to the NCAA Regionals for the first time since 1977, a time he described as the “greatest time of [his] life.”
And how did his time on the team influence him in his path to becoming an entrepreneur? Crawford said it was about the individual within the context of the team:
“Baseball is an interesting sport… it differs from other sports in that it’s more individual… you’re constantly asking yourself, ‘What can I do individually to bring something to my team?’… When I finally got to play, I made sure to grasp at that.”
The crepes are modeled after the Buckwheat-style Crepes of Brittany, a style both Crawford and Richman have spent months trying to master. Richman traveled to France and the both of them traveled to New York, Seattle and Philadelphia to study the “Art of Crepe Making” in hopes that they could hone their crepe-making skills as well as combining the tastes of both the country and the world.
On Oct. 2nd at 10 p.m., Collegetown Crepes opens to both Collegetown and the Ithaca community.
And for many of their first patrons, the decision to scoop up a crepe will be anything but spontaneous.