Food Combi helps Clark students build entrepreneurial skills

WORCESTER, Mass. – The Food Combi is a 1970s Volkswagen design, which was converted into a food truck by the Dobson family. John Dobson and his wife are professors at Clark University. Lisa taught a course on community entrepreneurship last spring.

What do you want to know

  • Clark students use a food truck to learn entrepreneurial skills to complete a minor
  • Students worked with community organizations
  • Food Combi came from Mexico and was built by John’s son
  • The food truck plans to be used again in the fall

“During a trip to Mexico, I saw these types of rigs like food trucks and thought this vehicle, pun intended, would be a great way for Clark students to engage in the community as part of their entrepreneurship,” said John Dobson.

Melanie Adams is one of 11 students who used the food truck to complete her minor in entrepreneurship.

“I think it was a great opportunity, and it’s something I didn’t expect,” Adams said.

Dobson said students have partnered with community organizations to sell different types of food. They also helped prepare 100 meals for one of the Woo fridges.

“They have a lot of academic experience and are exceptional university students, but to have them incorporate that into a practice and apply it to something that makes sense to them is phenomenal. It’s really gratifying to see them come back with these great experiences,” Dobson said.

Melanie organized a yoga event for her project.

“I think it was awesome, and it made me realize how much I care about event planning and how much I love to create that atmosphere where people can meet other people in their community and making friends,” Adams said.

Dobson said the aim was to help bridge the gap between certain communities in Worcester.

“It gives them real hands-on experience engaging with the local community. For those who don’t want to go into entrepreneurship, it really pops a resume,” Dobson said.

For the summer, Dobson’s sons take over the family food truck, with help from Clark students, as well as former inmates. Dobson said he plans to use the truck again for classes in the fall.

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