Just under three years from graduation, Brandon Cahill, William Floyd High School Class of 2015, can call himself an entrepreneur as the owner/operator of “Build-A-Sandwich,” a food truck specializing in providing high-quality sandwiches to customers such as pulled pork, wraps, grilled chicken, steak, hamburgers, sausage and peppers, quesadillas, breakfast sandwiches and more.
Brandon, who graduated with a Career Development Occupational Studies Pathway designation from the William Floyd High School Hospitality Services Academy Culinary Arts program, is gearing up for his second year operating a small business. After receiving a truck from his parents as a graduation present, Brandon spent his first year getting the proper food service permits and outfitting the truck into a state-of-the-art kitchen before opening up for business at special events across the Long Island/New York City region.
During his first year in business, Brandon gained valuable experience at various events such as the Polish Festival in Riverhead, the Maritime Festival in Greenport, the Apple Festival in Sayville, the San Gennaro Feast in Hampton Bays, as well as at private parties and backyard barbecues. This year, he is ready to take on new challenges and has already grown his business with an additional food truck for ice cream and fried foods.
With that goal in mind, Brandon has secured a new location to serve his delicacies from – 656 Montauk Highway in Moriches, near Monti’s Barbershop. “Build-A-Sandwich” is scheduled to be at that location beginning on April 15.
Gaining Experience in the William Floyd High School CTE Program
During his time in the William Floyd High School Culinary Arts program, Brandon honed his skills under the tutelage of renowned chef and Guinness World Record ice carver, Richard Daly, as well as teaching assistant Wendy Waldron. He also learned the business end of the food service industry through valuable classes taken in the William Floyd High School Business Academy such as virtual enterprise, which teaches students invaluable experience in all aspects of running a business from human resources, to accounting, sales, marketing and more. After graduation, Brandon attended Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island for two years.
“Brandon is a great all-around young man – dependable, honest and hardworking,” said Mr. Daly. “He came to class and made things happen. If something extra needed to be done he was the first to volunteer and always eager to learn. He volunteered at every function and stayed after class to help out if needed. It’s not surprising that he is an entrepreneur at such a young age. We knew he would do great things. Hard work pays off every time.”
In the future, Brandon hopes to have a fleet of trucks and work solely as a supervisor on the business end. Brandon acknowledges that could not have come this far without the help of his parents, Melissa and Michael Cahill, who have helped him tremendously. His father also helped him customize both food trucks. He desires to continue making his family proud including his late Uncle Charlie, who also worked in food service.
Brandon hasn’t forgotten where it all started as he returned to William Floyd High School last November to participate in the third annual “Taste of the Town” event, a gathering of more than 50 local and area food establishments that come together to offer their best dishes for the community to sample. The Taste of the Town is a fun night out for community members, a great marketing opportunity for local food establishments to share their delicacies, as well as an opportunity for current Culinary Arts students to gain valuable experience in working with industry professionals. Proceeds from this event go toward Culinary Arts student scholarships and assistance with the local food pantry.
Culinary Arts is one of seven Career and Technical Education offerings available for students at William Floyd, which also includes automotive technology, business, carpentry, cosmetology and medical assisting, along with the two brand new offerings this year – barbering and small engine repair.