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Taffy's milkshakes bring old traditions to new food truck market

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Avery Schneider
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WBFO News

A made-in-America summer treat is jumping in with the Western New York food truck boom. Get your straws ready, and forget the lunch counter, the diner, and the drugstore soda fountains of yesterday. That milkshake you crave is now on wheels.

For about the last year, Orchard Park’s old-time burger joint Taffy’s has branched out into the local food truck market. Shake-making veteran Daniel Pikula is at the helm of the Taffy's Shake Truck as its manager and operator.

“We’re a little bit late to the game,” said Pikula, “But we’re but we’re happy to jump on and join in. It’s a different animal after working in the brick and mortar store for twenty years, and now being on the back of a truck all day, but getting used to it.”

Taffy’s is tapping into a bit of a niche within the food truck market. Most trucks focus on food, and maybe something to gulp down along with it. On this truck, it’s strictly milkshakes – about 104 flavors of them. That’s pared down from over 130 at the restaurant.

“Most popular is chocolate. Can’t mess with the classic,” said Pikula. Though he admitted Creamsicle is his favorite. “Then we move on from there. We have banana fudge or chocolate peanut butter. Cookies and cream seems to be popular.”

Pikula said the wildest flavor anyone’s asked for is “chocolate firecracker combined with pumpkin spice.”

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Credit Avery Schneider / WBFO News
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WBFO News
Daniel Pikula, Manager and Operator of Taffy's Shake Truck, stands amidst in front of the milkshake mixing stations, with a cardboard cutout of original restaurant owner and namesake Toufic "Taffy" Eliah.

The Shake Truck is making the rounds at popular food truck destinations within the city and along the waterfront. Like most of the food trucks in town, Taffy’s is making itself known on social media, and Pikula says Twitter seems to be the most popular way for fans to find them.

For those thirsty masses, Pikula said there is one thing to know – that Taffy’s makes “old fashioned hand-scooped ice cream milkshakes, not with custard, not with ice milk like some of the other places use. We’re old fashioned, genuine, one step away from a soda-jerk.”

He says the best part of being on the truck is the look on people’s faces, especially as they stare in astonishment at the menu.

Taffy's Shake Truck can be followed on Twitter @TaffysTruck.

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Credit Avery Schneider / WBFO News
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WBFO News
The many flavors of Taffy's Shake Truck

Avery began his broadcasting career as a disc jockey for WRUB, the University at Buffalo’s student-run radio station.
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