Tiny house food truck makes Portland debut

tiny truck

Owner Matthew Glatz far right and builder Nick Rofe outside their tiny house with big taste!

Take the tiny house trend, add a food truck and get in line.

The SaltBox Cafe is a commercial kitchen on wheels built as a tiny (eight feet wide by 15 feet long) white pine box with a cedar porch and metal roof. “We built this by the seat of our pants,” said Nick Rofe, a Gorham carpenter who helped chef Matthew Glatz launch the newest mobile eatery to descend on Portland this spring.

Their goal for this gourmet sandwich vessel: “make it small and efficient and make some waves down here on the South Shore,” said Rofe, who constructed the 90-square-foot house on a trailer in seven and a half weeks.

After a successful soft opening at Sunday River this winter, Maine’s first tiny house food truck, (not to be confused with the much-roomier Salt Box in Hancock, which is a separate operation) makes its urban debut on Portland’s Eastern Promenade this weekend. What can owner Glatz, a Southern Maine Community College grad, whip up in this snug structure?


Only the tastiest portable eats around. His gruyere crab cake and fried egg sandwich (above) with Swiss cheese and red onions smothered in a lemon, ginger bearnaise on a croissant will impress even the most jaded foodie. “I worked on getting the sauce right for months,” said the 28-year-old chef who cooked in Portland’s Ri Ra pub and studied culinary arts at SMCC.

Other breakfast options include a pulled-pork breakfast burrito ($6.95), and a smoked salmon sammie, an open-faced toasted English muffin with Ducktrap salmon, capers, onions and dill neufchatel ($7.50). Rotisserie chicken sandwiches ($10) is bound to appease lunch lovers out for a stroll.

The tiny house with a big taste will be on the Eastern Prom Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. After that the Saltbox roams the streets of Portland Thursday through Sunday. “I’d like to start doing popups and invite Portland chefs to take over the kitchen for a day,” said Glatz.

Similar to a tap takeover, the concept could ignite. We expect to see top toques having fun in this minuscule manse soon. Find out where the box lands next on Facebook and Instagram.




Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.