Trusty Buck’s was a new vegan food truck business preparing for a busy summer of events when lockdown began.

There were no longer crowds to cater for, so Hugh Kearns changed his plans and created a home delivery operation working out of the driveway of his parents’ home in Pollokshields while employing out of work musician pals as couriers.  

This food story begins with Hugh working as a manager for BrewDog while performing as Trusty Buck Arlington, his washboard-playing country music alter-ego, every Saturday in McSorley’s.

Deciding that he wanted to launch his own vegan menu and get on the road, he spent last year refurbishing a horsebox, converting it into a quirky mobile space for preparing burgers, curries, burritos and fries.

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He was gearing up for a first season of catering at music festivals when everything changed.

“We had a BrewDog event lined up, that was the first one to get cancelled, and then we were on for Yardworks at SWG3, we were offered Eden Festival in Dumfries and Galloway.

"We were ready to really go for it and try to have an event every weekend for the whole summer” Hugh says.

With the start of the business stalled and events banned, Hugh moved in a different direction.

“It was obvious what I needed to do. I was in a lucky situation because we had started a kitchen residency in the Linen 1906 pub, so we had the beginnings of a customer base in the Southside.

"There was space in my parent’s driveway, where the food truck was already being stored.

"We set up a gazebo in the garden, brought in pallets to set up a floor, and moved the whole operation into the driveway.

"That’s my kitchen where I work now – we try to keep on top of the swearing, for the neighbours.”

He had support as he tried to salvage some trade: “I phoned the environmental health department and explained that this is what needs to happen for us to survive as a business.

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"She was super helpful and we made it work. She said they had never had any requests like this and wouldn’t normally allow it but under the circumstances we got the go ahead and had an inspection remotely by video.”

The temporary fix has allowed Hugh to offer jobs to musicians who have seen their own opportunities for work disappear: “It’s become a lifeline for those who are working with me.

"We’ve a few musicians who are delivery drivers, including Tim who was the piano player in my band.

"He made a living from playing weddings and that’s gone so he’s now a delivery driver. How they are all coping with not being able to play music any more is another story. At least they’ve got something coming in now in terms of income.”

The most challenging aspect has been the commercial realities of a delivery business, with Hugh sounding a word of warning for those considering this as a long-term solution for restaurants with reduced capacity.

“It became obvious to us that we can’t make enough to cover trading with deliveries through Just Eat and UberEats. The commission they take – it’s 30% if you use their couriers, it’s 13 or 14% if you use your own - that’s the profit margin gone.

"We had to figure out how to get a system where people are ordering direct. It has been a massive challenge but I think we’ve got it in us to make this work.”

Orders are taken on their website at and are delivering to customers on the Southside on demand, with a pre-order system for the East End, City Centre and West End: “We are looking at expanding the capacity for on-demand. We’ve just got a couple of electric delivery bikes which will make the city centre more accessible. We’re getting good feedback.

"People have been really supportive and what to see us come through the other side of it”.

What does the other side look like for Trusty Buck’s? “As long as we are not losing money, we’ll keep the delivery going.

"What we really need is a shop so everyone knows where we are and we are not tucked away on a driveway. We’re going to use the Bounce Back Loan Scheme to get into a unit. That’s the next step.

"There’s just so much uncertainty at the moment and as soon as we move the costs go up. At the same time, we want to move to a more normal business operation”.

In the meantime, vegetarian haggis burritos with Buckfast caramelised carrot are flying out of a Southside driveway kitchen and there will be vegetarian munchie boxes for delivery later in the summer.