The Satori Project: Creation of a Sushi Food Truck

The Satori Story...

The Satori Mobile Sushi Truck was built custom from the ground up with the help of good friends, builders, and artists, mostly of the Haiku and Makawao communities.


First, we envisioned and designed it...The plans would change here and there as the project progressed but we had developed a vision for what Satori would look like as well as the unique features we wanted to include. We put our minds to the test and decided to build our dream food truck - one that could be functional in the ways that we wanted it to be, could feature unique elements  like a built-on sushi bar and lanai, and would aesthetically blend into Maui's natural environment. The initial building and design team included IAN FERRIS, and STEVEN AND SUE SAWYER, all who share a hometown of North Lake Tahoe, California with owner Morgan Miller. First, the idea to build Satori was born following the entrance of Ferris who inspired enthusiasm, confidence, and the know-how to make it happen. His unstoppable work ethic drove the entire first phase of brainstorming and construction, solidifying the project that would become a much larger vision than we originally had in mind.

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Two of the biggest contributors to Satori were TONYA RASMUSSEN and SHALIMAR DENNIS who not only gave us permission to build the food truck on their land, but also allowed us use of their tools, and contributed much of their own time and materials as well.  It was a huge project! The patience, understanding and generosity  given by these two as the project progressed will never be forgotten.  They are true ambassadors of Aloha, and we are forever grateful. 


As the very first step toward building, a 25 ft. custom flatbed trailer was purchased from a local welder in the Haiku-Pauwela Cannery with a second axle added to it's structure to provide extra support for the food truck. New tires, a lot of rust removal, and a new paint coat set us on our way! 

Starting trailer

Starting trailer

Satori's frame was built by master flooring craftsman Steven Sawyer with the design assistance of his old friend and local Maui contractor, JOHN CRINION. Steven's wife Sue greatly contributed to the design planning and building of the food truck frame, as well as helping with project management and organization. 

Contractor CHRIS MCCOY beautifully constructed Satori's sushi bar lanai with railings, and fold-up stairs, which were his unique creation. Driftwood tailing and some interior shelving were later added by local craftsman NOEL MUTZENBERG. Chris also rebuilt the wheel wells giving the trailer plenty of room for the weight that it would eventually hold, and came up with the idea for the shoji inspired service-window awnings. 

In order to design our kitchen we were lucky enough to gain assistance from CHEF ERIC "CHEWY" CERECERES who helped us with an interior design that would be both functional and comfortable. 

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Born and raised Maui builder TAYLOR TAMSING initiated the interior construction installing our kitchen counter framing, interior walls and insulation. He also built our sawhorse inspired  sushi bar benches and his team Phil and Ed assisted with various constructs including shelving, counters, doors, and windows. 

Electrical was provided by Lani Howard of Powered by Howard who wired the truck and  installed lighting throughout. 

Epoxy resin artist MCKENZIE CHADWELL finished the kitchen counters, one of our favorite features of the truck! Worth a look in the photo section!

Plumbing plans were assisted by engineer and lifelong friend KYLE GEORGESON. Water tanks were installed by CHRIS CAYTON and the plumbing system by THOMAS FORTIER, both of whom also assisted greatly with the final stage of finish work and construction on the food truck. Cayton also  made our custom sliding acrylic sushi bar windows and Tom build our griddle lanai. 

Sushi Bar

Sushi Bar

Another builder, RICH WESSON of Washington state graciously helped us with the food truck's flooring during his extended stay in Maui, allowing us to bring up the truck's foundational quality enormously. He also helped us configure our lighting setup which became a project of its own. 

JERICHO STRINGER came through hugely as a friend and supporter helping tow the truck on numerous occasions in order for us to get it safely registered and transferred to its operating location in Makawao, a feat we could not have done without him! His confidence and dedication greatly helped us through the finish line. 


Our friend and Hawaii trailer guru MARTIN VOLLERT helped with some last minute additions including our grease trap and outdoor sink, not to mention a world of valuable construction, business and mental  advice throughout the process ;-)  


"WHEN A BIG WAVE APPROACHES YOU MIGHT AS WELL START PADDLING BECAUSE ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, IT'S GOING TO TAKE YOU" - MV

Finished Product, Satori

Finished Product, Satori