Owner/CEO/Mom and Dad
In 2018- we (Ashley and Matt) decided to buy a food truck on a whim. We’d both had successful corporate careers, but something was missing. We wanted to provide people with an outlet to relax, have a good time, and let loose — and we wanted to do it through food. We launched our food truck business as a do-it-all catering company that could accomplish our customers’ most off–the-wall event ideas.
Our small team of husband, wife, and 1 year old continued to grow with the addition of our chef, and the business took off. While continuing to add excellent people to our team, we branched out from doing traditional American-Italian cuisine to include all types of foods, while retaining an Italian influence. Due to high demand, our business quickly shifted from casual events to more upscale events at high end venues.
Our calendar was filling up with weddings, corporate parties, and such when the world went into lockdown. I (Ashley) was 6 months pregnant with our second child and couldn't have been more scared and concerned about our future. We had our toddler at home due to school closings and were receiving endless amounts of calls and emails of upcoming event cancelations.
One day while Matt was watching the daily Covid press conference updates, an upcoming program- Great Plates was announced to begin shortly. Great Plates was a Federal, State and County funded government program designed to help stop the spread of Covid by keeping the 60 and older indoors. It was also designed to stimulate the restaurant industry due to all the food industry shutdowns. Matt quickly applied and within a week found out our catering company had been accepted as one of the San Diego vendors. For 7 days a week (including holidays) Mangia Mangia delivered 3 well balanced meals a day to 60 and older qualified participants on the program. We served up to 165 people a day for breakfast, lunch and dinner totaling 500 meals a day for 17 months. With the transition into meal delivery- 2020 and 2021 quickly became our most successful year allowing us to launch a similar type program to the public in 2022.
April 05, 2022
Do you love delicious food and resilient people? Then, you’ll want to hear Matt and Ashley Johnson’s story about how they launched Mangia Mangia Italian Kitchen and pivoted during COVID.