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DNA Test on Wheels Is Food Truck Trend Taken to Logical Extreme

A paternity test? Sticker price for that one is $350.

Now that the food trucks have become a fixture in most of the nations' major cities, enterprising entrepreneurs are providing other goods and services on four wheels.

The latest? A food truck-style business that serves genetic information rather than, say, banh mi. It's "a 28-foot (8.5-meter) recreational vehicle cruising around New York City emblazoned with the question 'Who's Your Daddy?', and offering on-the-spot DNA testing services starting at $299."

Health Street, the business that runs the DNA test truck, offers a variety of packages and types of test, including what it says is a legal DNA paternity test. Sticker price for that one is $350.

And of course the first thing I wonder is what an ice-cream-truck-style jingle would sound like for the mobile DNA lab. Because I'm terrible.

But seriously, ask any food truck operator if entrepreneur Jared Rosenthal's problems sound familiar:

A mobile business is really a labor of love. We deal with generators going down. People back cars into us. We get tickets all the time. You have to be out early because of the traffic—if you have an office, people will you never say, well, the office didn’t get there on time. It’s a 24/7 operation: People will call you at night for a blood test. Washing the RV, keeping it clean is an ongoing expense. To fill the tank is $200. We also have an office operation, a call center, Internet work. It’s a full operation: accounting, legalities, everything. We have five people on staff and another 10 independent workers who do mobile collecting.


The most visible truck—the one that screams "DNA TESTING" in red lettering on the side—is located in New York City, but Rosenthal told Bloomberg Businessweek that the company also has "mobile collectors" elsewhere in the country.

What other businesses have you seen on wheels? Mobile spray tanning? Fashion and flowers? Tell you what, here's a free idea: Hitch up a trailer john and follow the food trucks in New York City and Los Angeles. Charge market rates.

Photo courtesy Health Street

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