Specialty step van builds are not limited to restaurants or caterers taking their business into the mobile sector. There are many other ways that high-end builders like APEX design and fabricate projects “outside the box” shown through this project spotlight: Food Trucks for Veterans. APEX Specialty Vehicles had the honor to design, engineer, and build a custom food truck for Veterans Canteen Service. Let’s take a look! 

According to, Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) was established in 1946 originally created to provide articles of merchandise and services at reasonable prices to Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare system, caregivers, and visitors. Since its conception, VCS’s mission continues, incorporating a strategic Veteran-centric approach emphasizing the importance of service to Veterans and supporting VA’s overall mission. VCS provides retail, food, coffee, and vending services across the country.

As we know, custom builds can be designed and engineered to accommodate many other non-profit initiatives, including:

  • Command Centers
  • Disaster Relief/Emergency Response
  • Government Assistance (FEMA)
  • Educational Platforms (Diabetes, Mammography)

The imperative differences in a company that only builds food trucks and those that can build food trucks along with multi-functional units come down to design and engineering. Many food truck builders do not have a staffed design and engineering team onsite, so their builds are cookie-cutter. This leads to lower quality, less customizable options, and less attention to detail.

However, builders who invest in the upfront design and engineering of the project have greater attention to detail, a higher level of quality, and fabrication capabilities. In the example of the Veterans Canteen Service truck, APEX followed a thorough process (as an ISO 9001 certified company) from the initial meeting with the customer, design and engineering phase, modifications with the design team, procurement, fabrication process, Veterans staff training, and deployment of the food truck.

APEX’s engineering team recalled a few unique aspects of the projects that were different from other builds. One was utilizing a new vendor for cooking equipment, which ended up initiating a longer-term relationship with said vendor due to their quality, responsiveness, and customer service. Another feature that stood out to the fabrication team was the diamond plate flooring, which is different than what is normally installed on APEX builds. It really had a sleek design look and feel. Lastly, the Veterans Canteen Service truck utilized a security system, which was a first for the APEX to install.

The Veterans Canteen Service truck was sent to California after completion at APEX’s Kansas City facility.  The California Department of Housing and Community Development and APEX worked closely to ensure the VCS truck met all health code requirements. APEX always performs quality checks and testing prior to the unit departing their facility, however, the state of California requires additional testing on the food trucks, which APEX complied and passed. 

Overall the VCS project held a unique initiative for veterans, which APEX was honored to be a small part of the full project scope. 

Check out this video walk-through of the Veterans Canteen Service food truck! 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-KkW_NaxWI]

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