Armstrong duo taking new business to Dayton Fair
Chasing the American dream is no pie in the sky for two lifelong friends and graduates of Ford City High School.
Since June, Plummer Toy, 51, of Manor and 50-year-old Tim Mechling of Applewold have been quickly becoming kings of their own destiny by firing up a mountain pie business from the back of a 30-foot gooseneck trailer that they haul to summer festivals.
Toy and Mechling run Mountain Pie Kings, cooking up specialty treats with fillings sealed between two pieces of buttered bread and toasted inside long-handled pie-irons over a wood fire. They have savory offerings made with meat and sweet ones with fruit — but it's the broad number of combinations available that prompted a recent customer to say: “If you can dream it up, they can make a mountain pie out of it.”
“My favorite is probably the cheeseburger,” Toy said, as the two friends made adjustments to the trailer along a dirt driveway just off Goat Hill Road in Manor.
Coming up with the idea of cooking mountain pies for crowds was a no-brainer for the friends. They make them all the time while camping with their families. And they wanted to stand out from other food vendors at fairs and festivals.
“That's the one thing no one else has,” Toy said.
The trailer is outfitted with four sinks, three refrigerators, a stainless steel counter, water and a waste-water tank. Those materials, along with a canopy that extends across a metal framework to protect customers from rain, were all gleaned from old recreational vehicles and campers at a Kittanning scrap yard.
A logo of a crown topped with flames was painted on the side by Christy Gross, of Ford City, in exchange for some poured concrete — a trade Toy and Mechling have as their full-time jobs.
“We cut and weld everything and do our own fabrication,” Toy said about building the specialized trailer. “We're working on our own budget – which is nothing,”
Mechling – who sports earrings inside stretched lobes, a Mohawk haircut and arm tattoos – nodded in agreement as his friend with a goatee and salt-and-pepper hair spoke.
“When you're born poor, you learn how to do everything,” Mechling said.
In this case, that means building a trailer to peddle their wares. A metal counter folds down from the side so folks can pull up a chair and dine alfresco. They converted an 8-foot-long and 20-inch diameter pipe into a firebox positioned at the open back section of the trailer, fitted with a lid and vents.
The pair served their first crowd at the Waves of Thunder event in Kittanning in June. They followed that up with a run at Ford City's SummerFest and will be at the Dayton Fair from Monday through Saturday next week.
“Their whole crew has such a down to earth attitude. When you order a mountain pie, you feel like you are sitting around a campfire with a bunch of buddies,” said SummerFest organizer Ben Dinus. “The entire trailer has a great rustic look and a rock-and-roll attitude that puts a smile on your face.”
Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ford City waiting on road salt as storm blows in
- Wintry mix makes for slick roads in Armstrong County
- Klingensmith’s Drug Stores offers monthly supply of vitamins to families who enroll children
- Burrell Township man killed in backhoe accident
- Armstrong controller announces bid for fourth term
- Snyder makes offer for mineral rights under polluted Ford City land
- Ford City police coverage sparks concern from EMS director
- Paranormal investigators coming to Ford City library
- Plan hatched to make storefront hub of Armstrong event, services news
- Ford City officials discuss code enforcement
- Beauty Bash will help send cancer patient, family to Florida