Crystal and Kevin “KD” Dunn aren’t new to the entreprenurial lifestyle, in fact both partners in this Birmingham power couple have owned their own business for multiple years. The Dunns recently unveiled their latest business move, an impressive new food truck as the new primary salespoint for Berries By Crystal–which has gained a loyal following since the company’s initial formation in 2018. They will soon be setting up outside at Birmingham hospitals, parks, and businesses to serve a delicious medley of smoothies, wraps, sweets, and strawberry kabobs. 

The road to owning a food truck featured many obstacles, tough decisions, and oftentimes simply waiting and trusting God to guide them through the next challenge ahead. Berries By Crystal, which formed after Crystal creating some chocolate-covered strawberries for a friend’s daughter to great fanfare and hasn’t slowed down since, had already seen some monumental moments in the company’s first three years. Shortly after their formation, they were providing fruit bouquets for a famous flower company–with someone even being flown in from New York to train them on the process.

After about two years of working on the bouquets, the Dunns determined that they needed to break off and once again make their own dreams their focus. The couple was soon researching various ways to better serve Berries By Crystal to the masses. A brick-and-mortar didn’t make sense cost-wise for the couple, a fact that was soon elevated by the pandemic. They looked at shipping containers as well, but once again the costs didn’t line up with their entrepreneurial visions of the Dunn family. They began looking at food trucks, and for a while it looked like the results would be similar–so they waited. 

“Sometimes you just have to take a step back,” the family shared, “Let go and let God. Stop trying to force something to happen. Just do what you do and everything else will come into play. We live by that mantra everyday because we’ve been entirely blessed.”

The journey to the perfect food truck was a long but worthwhile one for the Dunns, ending with plenty to celebrate. All photos from Face Photography LLC

The blessings continued when Kevin saw the perfect truck on eBay, and realized he was the first to bid. The couple had decided to drop the search for a while, but this deal seemed to good to pass up. He waited and was glued to his phone screen as the auction wound down, sure that someone was going to come in and place a higher offer at the last second. When the time ended, Kevin refreshed the screen and was still the highest bid. They were soon put in touch with the man selling truck out of Florida, who informed the Dunns that eBay had actually informed him that other potential bidders were blocked from the auction–but he’d still like to come to an agreement. The Dunns had their trailer–and for a pretty great deal.

Crystal and KD already had pickup trucks, but they would need something even bigger to bring the mammoth trailer back from Florida. After a few stressful days with rental companies where it seemed like a truck wouldn’t be available, things worked out at the very last minute. They determined then and there to get a permanent work truck for their trailer. “It’s a marriage. One can’t go without the other,” shares Crystal, detailing that the truck is named “The Beast,” while his trailer wife is named “Berry Beast.” 

Ever since deciding to expand from strawberries and fruit bouquets to a larger restaurant brand, the Dunns had been trying out different berry bite bowls, acai bowls, wraps, smoothies, and more. Their parents and neighbors were the lucky taste-testers that helped shape the menu that came out of Crystal’s “berry lab” where she was “trying to get colors together. Trying to understand the science of it all.” Berries By Crystal is excited about serving tasty healthy options, but will still be keeping the delicious desserts like the Caramel Crunch and Turtles bowls that their fans have come to love. 

Other customer favorites at Berries By Crystal’s grand opening includes the Strawberry Shortcake Crumble Bite Bowl, which reminds people of the famous shortcake popsicle, and the Caramel Crunch Kabobs. Fans have loved exploring the strawberry kabob flavors, and the Dunns already have many new interested Birminghamians reaching out for menu items they’ve seen circulating online. Berries By Crystal will also begin taking orders for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day for those looking to gift their loved ones something truly sweet. They also sell cocoa bombs filled with rich toppings in the fall and winter. 

“We believe presentation is everything,” Kevin shares on the couple’s philosophy, saying that they treat everything from the truck’s cleanliness to the wrapping and branding with the utmost seriousness. He jokes that while many say you’ll find incredible food in dirty places, “I don’t care how good the food is, I’m not going.” While they don’t care what people think about them as individuals, the family understands how people view their restaurant is crucial. “This is about an organization. You should care what your customers think about your organization, because that’s how you pay the bills.”

The philosophy impacts every part of the business, including the quality of chocolate and other ingredients used for their tasty menu items. “We get some of the best products because we want it to be rich,” the couple explains, “We want it to look good, taste good.” Their kabob menu, which includes nerds, confetti sprinkle, and cookies and cream amongst other delicious options, highlights the Dunn’s creativity.

The refreshing flavors at Berries By Crystal are balanced out with the richness of their other options.

Another way Birmingham’s newest food truck is setting itself apart is providing the option for customers to scan a QR code to order online and skip standing in line. The technology lets them temporarily suspend menu items that are running low, and expands their efficiency to an entirely different level. “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. We’re just trying to make adjustments to it to make it work for us,” they explain.

Berries By Crystal’s motto is “Providing a healthier food option with a hint of self indulgence.” Their slogan, which accompanies one of the city’s most fun logos in a fruit-loving little grim reaper, is “Let us berry (bury) you and more.” The two sayings come together to perfectly describe the loveliness that is found behind this food truck experience. 

The Dunns have been through a lot together, including Kevin’s business Peabody Party Rental, serving as a Pleasant Grove City Council member, hosting the “Dunn Dunn It All” podcast, maintaining an Airbnb property, growing Berries By Crystal, and their most cherished job of raising their three children in a loving household. “We’re the primary team in everything that we do,” the couple shares, “It’s hard work but having a foundation, having someone for you and to be here. Cause we’ve been through the trenches together.” 

They both recall where they’ve come from, and how much they’ve pushed to get to where they are–and those memories impact their decisions daily.  “We work really, really, really hard. Really hard. To get where we’re at and where we’re trying to go. Nothing was given to us, and I do mean nothing. We don’t expect anybody to give us anything.” While they’ve worked hard to provide for themselves, the Dunns still see the importance of uplifting the community around them.

“If you want good stuff to come to you, you have to do good by people,” the team behind Berries By Crystal shares, “We all got expiration dates. We are here for a limited time only. It’s like a sale–after that that’s it. So we do what we can do. Give what we can give. If we can help you out, help you out.” They enjoy sharing their business stumbles and successes with those coming up, and are looking forward to their first year of business in the food truck. 

They’re thankful for those who’ve supported them so far, with Crystal saying “there would be no Berries By Crystal if you don’t have those supporters. They tell you the good, the bad, the ugly, and you respect their opinions of your business. I’m grateful for them.” They’re looking forward to earning even more supporters once they truck is fully open, and we can’t wait for the unique flavors they bring to Birmingham.