By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Jul 11, 2016 at 11:01 AM

Milwaukee has a growing number of food trucks, but few catered to the breakfast-loving crowd. But then a big red truck moved onto the scene this past May and changed everything.

Eggs & Bakin’ is the brainchild of service industry entrepreneur Erin Broderick, who saw the hole in the market and leveraged it to introduce Milwaukee to one of her favorite dishes: egg sandwiches.

"Whenever I have friends over, I make them egg sandwiches," Broderick notes. "And if they’re made right and made well, they can be an any-time-of-day food."

Broderick’s sandwiches are straight-up breakfast bliss. Made with organic eggs, farm fresh produce and multi-grain English muffins, they make the perfect morning meal. But, they’re also hearty enough to satiate a hungry belly just about any time of the day.

Customers can choose from four sandwiches, each of which comes with a side of fresh fruit. There’s the Greek God ($7), which comes with an egg, feta cheese, spinach, tomato, red onion and olive tapenade.

Or you can opt for the Italian Stallion with egg, mozzarella, tomato, basil and pesto; or the American Piglet ($6.75), a classic sandwich with egg, bacon and cheddar.

Of course, if you’re like most people, you’re going to opt for The Legend ($8), a delicious combination of egg, arugula, tomato, green onion, havarti cheese, avocado and bacon. Gluten-free customers can order any sandwich served atop a bed of greens. Hint: get the side of Frank's Red Hot if you don't mind a bit of heat. It's a delicious accompaniment.

Of course, you can always customize your sandwich. Add-ons like bacon, avocado and egg are available for $1 each. And, if you’re hankering for something sweet, Broderick also offers at least one daily bakery item like lemon blueberry muffins, banana bread toast or chocolate chip cookies (two for $1.25). Coffee and water are also available for purchase ($1.50 and $1, respectively).

Breakfast beginnings

Originally from Chicago, Broderick came to Milwaukee to attend college at Marquette University, where she earned her degree in journalism. But it was always the service industry that called her name.

"I worked at Cookie’s Cafe on 3rd Street when it was still open," she says. "And then I moved on to work with Mo’s, Calderone Club and then Devon Seafood."

In the meantime, she pursued studies in baking and pastry at MATC, eventually making her way to Le Reve, where she trained with some of the best pastry chefs in the city.

But by March 2015, she was ready for something different.

"I’d been in the industry for 15 years, and I really wanted to do something for myself," she says. "The idea of having a food truck, it was much less intimidating than putting together a business plan for a restaurant, and it was perfect since I wanted to do something that was unique."

So Broderick looked around herself. What she saw was a neighborhood devoid of quick food options.

"I live in East Town, and when I looked around in the morning, there’s just nothing around," she explains. "During the week there’s nowhere for you to walk and grab coffee or a sandwich."

Responsible sourcing

Of course, when it came to sourcing her ingredients, Broderick says it was important to her to follow her heart and her ethics, which were in part shaped by her experiences working at Whole Foods.

"Working with the company really helped me to understand the importance of preparation, organic lifestyle and treatment of animals," she notes. "It really caused me to question my values and take a look at the quality and cost of the food I was buying."

Buying organic and sustainably produced products became a necessity for Broderick in her personal life, and it’s something she says needs to be a part of her business model.

"One of the biggest comments I get from people who love what I do is ‘It’s so clean,’" she says. "And that’s my goal. I’m feeding people the type of food that I would want to eat. It’s more expensive, but you’re paying for the quality."

Looking ahead

Moving forward, Broderick says the food truck will be adding a larger selection of bakery items available on the truck. She’ll also be rolling out a new sandwich called Fuel Toast, an open-faced creation featuring avocado, hard boiled eggs and Frank’s Red Hot.

Broderick also has her sights set on taking her breakfast show on the road.

"The big dream for me is to be a part of the music festivals," she says. "I want to support Milwaukee and I want to be part of the city. But in the big picture, I’d love to travel around to different festivals and really spread the word about how great Milwaukee is."

Find Eggs & Bakin’ Downtown Tuesday through Friday, and Saturdays near Juneau Park on Prospect and Kilbourn. The truck’s schedule is posted daily on Facebook. You can also follow Eggs & Bakin’ on Twitter and Instagram.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.