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Cardiac warning: Bubba brings burgers on wheels to Freeland

Makenzie Peterson, an employee with Bubba Flame Broiled Burger, bites into the “Cardiac Arrest Burger.” The burger is the biggest on the menu for the new business in Freeland. Below: The largest burger on the menu, the “Cardiac Arrest Burger,” has a classic bacon burger with a fried egg between two grilled cheese sandwiches.  - Celeste Erickson / The Record
Makenzie Peterson, an employee with Bubba Flame Broiled Burger, bites into the “Cardiac Arrest Burger.” The burger is the biggest on the menu for the new business in Freeland. Below: The largest burger on the menu, the “Cardiac Arrest Burger,” has a classic bacon burger with a fried egg between two grilled cheese sandwiches.
— image credit: Celeste Erickson / The Record

Bubba Flame Broiled Burger brings the nationwide trend of food trucks to Whidbey Island.

Inspired by the TV show “Great Food Truck Race,” a reality show featuring competing food trucks, Heather and Greg Koch have found success with their own food truck challenge — a new business.

“We have the burgers you know, but better,” Heather Koch said. “Our burgers are made with love.”

The formidable burgers feature five handmade sauces, flame broiled burgers and salt and pepper potato chips on the side.

Heather recommends starting with the “Loaded Burger” which features a burger, cheddar cheese, pepper bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickle and red onion on a bun with her secret “Bubba Burger Sauce.”

Her favorite is also the one she spent the most time creating, the “Greek Burger,” which features a flame broiled beef patty, feta, Swiss cheese, red onion, kalamata olives and tomato on a torta roll with Heather’s “Bubba Greek Sauce.” Prices range from $6.95 to $13.50 for burgers with cash only payments.

With an order of either the Inferno or Cardiac Arrest burger, the customer is guaranteed a siren sound off for the surrounding area to hear. 

“We’re loud in there, yelling and sounding the siren,” Heather said. “We have a crazy-fun atmosphere with good food. Everyone loves the novelty of the food truck.”

Heather leads with a background in the restaurant business. She previously ran the restaurants at Holmes Harbor Golf Course and Harbour Pointe. But she didn’t want to work for someone else.

Heather said the truck business is entirely different from the restaurant business because of the size. The storage and prep area are in the same space in the food truck and employees have their own small spots they have to navigate through. The truck is licensed and permitted, she said.

“It’s a natural fit for Heather and our community,” Greg said. “The community has opened their arms for us.”

Word has spread quickly. Heather said they are often slammed during lunch hours, which is fine.

“If you guys keep coming, so will we,” she said.

Heather said one of her favorite parts of running the food truck is the variety of people eating her burgers.

“I love seeing people in ties, painters and teenagers all next to each other, packed in our picnic tables,” she said.

Heather said the opening of her business and the success it has received has been a whirlwind that she can’t believe.

“I don’t watch the TV show anymore, I live it,” she said.

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