Founder & CEO Cruising Kitchens
From food trucks to boxing and music, Cameron Davies brings attention and opportunities to San Antonians
BY CHRISTIE CUTHBERT
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CAMERON DAVIES
Cameron Davies started mowing lawns to make money from as far back as he can remember. Raised by a single mother who scraped together change to pay for his sports programs, Davies, 40, always had a strong entrepreneurial spirit. He would go on to work on custom cars in high school, then off to Baylor University for college. But his story isn’t your typical rags-to-riches plot line. It’s taken unforeseen twists and turns, for better and worse, that have made him the man he is today – successful in business and in happiness and love.
You’re the founder and CEO of Cruising Kitchens, the largest and most successful custom food truck fabricating business in the country. How did that little boy with big dreams who was mowing lawns in Georgetown, Texas, wind up in the food truck industry?
Well, I went to Baylor University for a few years in the entrepreneurial program, but I liked the nightlife and the entertainment part more than the classes, so I left after a few years. I wound up in San Antonio in 2002 and was doing custom aircraft upholstery work with my Dad’s company. I had started working for a company in New Braunfels and noticed the need for food trucks was going up in demand, but the quality of the trucks wasn’t. I thought to myself, “I can do this, and take it up to the next level.” We started adding stereo systems, custom upholstery, and more. This business has gotten where it is today from loads of hard work, luck, and determination.
Cruising Kitchens was picked up for a Discovery Channel reality television show called “Blue Collar Backers,” and from there, you wound up creating your own print company, production company, entertainment enterprise, and show, “Built for Business,” all right here in San Antonio. What made you want to take over all business and creative aspects of what you were working on?
Blue Collar Backers blew us up and really put us on the map, which was awesome, but it was very time consuming, and I’ll never do scripted reality television again. It’s very anxiety-provoking to sit down on a Friday night and watch yourself on television with the rest of the world having not seen what’s about to air beforehand. We decided to hire our own production people and create our own show right here, and season one was the highest-rated show on Motor Trend. It’s gotten great reviews, and we’re able to control everything and make sure we’re putting out a great product. We’ve also added a $1,000,000 recording studio and a state-of-the-art boxing facility. I’ve always loved music and boxing, and I like having the ability to give opportunities to people here in San Antonio and also make sure we’re putting out a high-quality product.
Producing your own work has allowed you to do more than design food trucks for HEB, Whataburger, Snoop Dogg and Kevin Hart. How have you been giving back to the community?
I heard the story of a young man who was born without arms and had all the drive and determination in the world but could never drive a vehicle. We were able to make him a custom vehicle that was beyond what anyone would think of about a “wheelchair van.” It was an incredibly rewarding experience that changed his life forever.
In 2018, you almost died when you were poisoned in the Dominican Republic while on vacation with your wife and friends. How did that horrific experience change you?
It was about 11 in the morning, and all of a sudden, my body started locking up and my eyes were rolling back in my head. I turned to my wife and said, “Baby, tell the kids I love them.” The next thing I remember was waking up in the hospital. I contracted a bacterial infection, which then lead to being horribly ill for over a year. If you can imagine the worst hangover of your life, I felt like that for an entire year every single day. Being so sick like that and what happened to me gave me a lot of anxiety. I would wake up in the middle of the night and have to go in and hug my kids. We tried taking a trip to Belize the following year, but I had to get on a plane and come right home because being back by the beach triggered too much anxiety. After that happened and I survived, I felt as though God had given me another chance on earth, and I was going to take every opportunity that came before me. I’m never going to not do something because I’m afraid of failure or anything like that. I’m going to chase my dreams, and I have.
When you’re not busy running your business empire, what do you do to relax?
My wife and my children, Kenadee and Cayson, are my world. All of my tattoos tell a story, and one on my arm says, “For without family I am nothing.” They mean everything to me. We enjoy traveling and playing golf together, and we love getting away to the JW Marriott just to unwind for a weekend. It’s like our little getaway.