FSU grad rolls into food truck scene with Sir Cheezy

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After graduating from Florida State University with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and psychology, James Cullen was not greeted with very much in the way of job opportunities.

And when he couldn't land a job, he turned to entrepreneurship, but in a slightly different industry than he had imagined.

"I wasn't even able to find gainful employment," he said. "I worked a couple of part-time jobs, but I was interested in something tied into law enforcement or private security. But with the way the economy is ... being a police officer is all that's really out there. And I was more interested in the technical aspect, protecting databases."

Starting the middle of next week, Cullen will be debuting his food truck, Sir Cheezy, to the Tallahassee community.

"It's not the first thing that I envisioned myself getting into, but I've been cooking for a while," he said. "And all of my friends have been encouraging me to do something more. Eventually it morphed from an idea to a reality. So, I'm going to run with it."

The concept of the truck is focused on an American classic — grilled cheese.

The menu consists of a slew of variations on the sandwich that take it from simple to extravagant. And even with the most plain concept of the sandwich, there's an added bonus, he said, not revealing his secret.

"With grilled cheese, it's an unlimited platform," Cullen said. "You can do whatever you want with it. I can play with it every day and come up with something different.

"And I have my own special way of doing it," he added. "I have a technique. It's a very simple thing, but it's unique."

Aside from the sandwiches, the menu also boasts soups, salads and sides — all made with fresh ingredients. But there are also some creative desserts, such as "The Quinn," which Cullen named after his friend Jamie Quinn.

Quinn was one of Cullen's guinea pigs through the conceptual stage of developing his business.

"I have had the pleasure of trying almost everything on the menu," Quinn said. "He's cooked up some things that I think people are really going to enjoy."

Her favorite sandwich so far is the Caprese, made with tomato, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese. But more than everything else, Quinn said, she is madly in love with the dessert made with mascarpone, Nutella and bananas — hence it was named after her.

"I am obsessed with Nutella," she said. "I blame (Cullen), because I never had it until I tried his dessert, and I have been addicted to it ever since."

Cullen said he's not sure where he will be early in the week, but he will be parked outside the Wesley Center on the FSU campus next Friday evening for an event.

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