Business

It was a long trip to Bellingham, but this bus is ready to serve food to the masses

Mr. Frank’s bus journeys to new home at Stemma Brewing

Lisa Postl Campbell and Tim Russell, makers of the "Mr. Frank's Kitchen" line of food seasonings, are expanding their business with a food truck that opened in July 2019 at Stemma Brewing in Bellingham, Wash.
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Lisa Postl Campbell and Tim Russell, makers of the "Mr. Frank's Kitchen" line of food seasonings, are expanding their business with a food truck that opened in July 2019 at Stemma Brewing in Bellingham, Wash.

It’s been quite a journey traveling across the country, but Mr. Frank’s bus is ready to serve food in the Roosevelt neighborhood.

Officially called Mr. Frank’s “The Bus,” the vehicle is parked next to Stemma Brewing at 2039 Moore St.. It sells a variety of burgers, salads and chicken wings as well as grilled and cold sandwiches. Each menu item is seasoned with spice and herb blends made from Mr. Frank’s Kitchen.

With a background in the restaurant industry, owner Lisa Postl Campbell originally thought about opening a brick-and-mortar eatery. After talking to the owners of the recently opened Stemma Brewing, she decided to go the food truck route but wanted to do something a little different. Searching online she came across an old Florida University bus that was for sale.

“I like to do things differently, and bringing a school bus was it,” she said.

Her partner, Tim Russell, went to Florida and drove it across the country: It broke down outside Miami and it was difficult to get the speed up above 30 miles an hour, but he was successful in bringing it to Bellingham.

Russell and Postl Campbell dated in high school before reuniting 26 years later. Russell’s daughter, Thor, will also be working in the bus.

Having a bus has some advantages compared to a food truck: With more space, Postl Campbell was able to get a more complete kitchen in place, allowing for an expanded menu.

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Lisa Postl Campbell and Tim Russell, makers of the “Mr. Frank’s Kitchen” line of food seasonings, are expanding their business with a food truck that opened in July 2019 at Stemma Brewing in Bellingham. Dave Gallagher The Bellingham Herald

The expanded menu allows her to promote the seasoning her dad, Frank Postl, developed in 1964. Frank Postl ran Frank’s Steak House and Tavern in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Postl Campbell said her dad came to Canada from Europe. He built the steak house that is now known as Weinkeller.

Along with the original seasoning, Frank’s Kitchen has five other flavors that will be available at the food bus.

“This is really something that honors my dad,” Postl Campbell said, adding that the seasonings are a way to carry the torch of what he created more than 50 years ago.

Mr. Frank’s “The Bus” is currently open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, an hour later Thursday through Saturday. For details, visit the company’s Facebook page.

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Dave Gallagher has covered the Whatcom County business community since 1998. Retail, real estate, jobs and port redevelopment are among the topics he covers.
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