small bites

Croz Surf Shack

By / Photography By Peter Acker | November 24, 2015
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“I grew up in a small town in Montana. I didn’t come from much, but I spent a lot of time with my grandpa and he would talk to me about business. He said ‘You can always make a dollar, but if you do it well and treat people right, you’ll do a lot better.’ And I always remembered that,” says David Crosmer, though most folks just know him as Croz.

It’s easy to want to support a guy like Croz. He’s kind and dedicated and loves what he does. Maybe you’ve met him already as he’s been parked all over town, most notably at our town’s beloved breweries like J Dubs, Darwin, and Big Top, but also at local festivals and loads of corporate lunches where he’ll take up a spot in the business’s lot and hand out meals to folks ready for some grub.

Croz will tell you he serves “island flavors” and he does, but that spans from the Hawaiian Islands to Thailand with various ingredients from pineapple, coconut, and peanut sauce to cilantro, basil, crispy noodles, Hawaiian barbecue sauce, and sriracha loaded atop hot dogs, tacos, sandwiches, and noodle bowls. He fell in love with these flavors as a young man visiting his mom in Huntington Beach, California, where food trucks would line up to offer fresh flavors and a friendly smile.

“I do that with my food, I try make people happy. Take a look at my reviews: People love the food but they also love the way I conduct my business,” Croz says.

A business that took a lot of effort to begin. After 20 years of working for other people, Croz thought “I want to do my own thing.” So, in 2013 he bought his own trailer.

“I worked my butt off,” he says. “I started in the summer and had to learn how to tackle every facet of the business when everything goes wrong,” he recalls fondly, without a hint of complaint. “There were several times I wished I had become a plumber, an electrician, and a roofer before becoming a food truck owner so I could have had the training, but now I’m prepared to deal with anything.”

Thankfully, all he has to deal with now is demand. He’s currently gearing up for Jazzfest in November and Island Fest in a few months, as well as booking a slew of special events and corporate gatherings.

His focus right now is on his menu. Croz’s Surf Shack has become best known for its gourmet hot dogs, but it offers several island fusion items as well, like marinated pork sandwiches, chicken tacos topped with an assortment of herbs and sauces, rice bowls, and other weekly specials.

As far as future plans go, well … “I’d love to have a brick-and-mortar place,” he says, “but right now I love being mobile. I really enjoy bringing food to the people.”

Croz Surf Shack:

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