We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Foley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katie, what role has risk played in your life or career?
We would not be where we are today if it were not for Risk! Our business, Ball of Energy, LLC, was born with a huge leap of faith in love and in buisness. In the early summer of 2014 my partner, Jesse Steve and I, met at a small music festival in a close by commuinty. At the time, I had a successful career in the non-profit sector serving in leadershp roles in Development, and Jesse was the Kitchen Manager at a very popular restauraunt on Seneca Lake in upstate NY. In addition, we were both transitioning out of long term relationships, but our spark was undeniable. We were drawn to one another and could feel that we were meant to do something togheter. We spent months in an on-again off-again romantic relationship as we worked through our past an questioned our future. But low and behold, just one year later we launched Ball of Energy, and Silo Food Truck and realized we were also meant to be together romantically. As a matter of fact, just one year after we launced the business, we were food vendors with Silo at the same music festival where we met!
We risked it all. We both left stable jobs that we enjoyed, we jumped in into a romantic relationship despite warnings that it was ‘too soon’ and we took on substantial debt-entering into a world we did not know a whole lot about! Risk motivated us, challenged us and gave us something to prove. Not so much to others… but to ourselves. We continued to take risks traveling up and down the East coast to music festivals, changing business models during COVID and expanding during times where others were closing down. I think our faith in one antohers work ethic, commitment and high standards gives us the confidence that we can do what we set out to. And if it fails… we at least know we gave it our all!
What should our readers know about your business?
Our business, Ball of Energy, LLC & Silo Food Truck is a mobile food truck/restaurant/caterer located in the Finger Lakes region in Upstate New York. We have two trucks currently, one that travels to large events and festivals and the other hosts a permanent residency at Liquid State Brewery in Ithaca, New York- serving in a restaurant model. Our business features good ole’ fashion southern style home cooking with an ethnic twist. Most of our ingredients are sourced locally, and each recipe is homemade and made with love. We specialize in our award-winning fried chicken and mac and cheese, but are also known for our vegan and vegetarian specialties- such as our purple coconut sticky rice with with our hommade curry. yummmmmm
We are most proud of the attention we pay to sourcing ingredentience & the production of our recipes. You can taste the time and attention that goes into the dish. We are also proud of our role in the community! As a food truck, we get to partake in all the major community events and festivals- bringing joy and good food to any occasion. We stress the importance of being informed, kind and confident as it relates to our customer service.
We believe that if you do your present well, the future will unfold. That is how we approach each dish, event, festival, or day of service. If you put pride, good intentions and authenticity into your work it will show and people will come back for more.
Silo Food Truck, born out of a labor of love, has turned into a community staple in our area. We hope that when Silo Food Truck is around, people are having a good time. We represent high quality, delicious fun! We work to be honest, fair and a generous participant in our community and hope to bring joy to people wherever we go.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oohh… well, where we live nature is king! I’d take them to some of my favorite hike and swim spots to work up an appitite. Then I’d hit our downtown commons for some shopping and maybe some nachos and a refreshing drink at Viva Taquria or Bickering Twins. I’d likely then take them for a driving tour to see some of our educational institutions including Cornell University and my alma mata- Ithaca College. For dinner, I choose Italian- and for me that means Gola Osteria, or maybe Sushi at Asia Cusine. If time allowed, we’d take a second day just to tour the lakes with a drive up Cayuga Lake over to Seneca and back down. On the way we’d hit Cayuga Lake Creamery or Trimmers for some ice cream. The Finger Lakes if full of beautiful landscape, food and drink and you could spend weeks and still not hit it all.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Both Jesse and I attribute our success in having others believe in us! We were each given opportunities in our lives to be in leadership positions at young ages. Jesse attributes so much of what he learned to his mentor Scott Signori (who we sadly lost to a battle with Cancer earler this year). Scott gave Jesse leadership opportunities at The Stonecat Cafe in Hector, NY and also showed him the importance of building strong relationships- in business and in your personal life. Jesse respected Scott immensly.
I was given my first leadership opportunity at the Ithaca Youth Bureau, where I served as the Director of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program at the age of 22. I was the youngest on the team- but those above me believed in me and gave me the chance. My career and my role in the commuinthy sprung from that job. I also come from a family of strong women with a nack for leadership and good intentions to make the world a better place. I thank them immensly for helping mold me.
Casey Martin Photography