From serving people to serving food

Mathews’ disenchantment with medical field leads to opening Melt Stop
By: 
Kay Reminger
Correspondent

Linsey Mathews served many people during her nursing career but has switched gears and is now in the business of serving food.

Her endeavor as owner of The Melt Stop, a mobile food truck with nutritious food, is gaining popularity among the locals and beyond.

For a few years as she’d watch food shows on TV, Mathews would turn to her husband and declare, “I can do that.”

It piqued an interest deep inside. Intrigued, they thoughtfully discussed it at length. She began the process of transitioning from nursing to owning her own business. Mathews had always had a desire to cook and bake. They needed to find a good time to quit her job and just do it.

For 12 years, Mathews had worked in the medical field, first as a certified medical assistant, then as an LPN. Eventually becoming disenchanted with the medical community as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she just physically wore out of her profession.

Soon her entire life would take a turn.

At the end of 2020, Mathews was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that affects people differently. When she was diagnosed, it changed her perspective on life, and realizing her dream became a focus that brought her to where she is now.

The diagnosis was an eye-opener for Mathews, and she began to realize life is short and so cemented her decision to make a change. Researching MS and relying on the medical community, she undergoes a brain MRI once a year and sees her neurologist every six months. Taking homeopathic supplements, she’s been monitoring her health, eating better and is stable. Training and running half-marathons, she is exercising more, which helps keep her mind and body healthy.

Working a bit longer at ThedaCare, she eventually left in July 2022. It was hard for her to leave, but she knew if she was going to make a move in her career, this would be the time.

Going to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College for one year to get her diploma in culinary arts, she became a certified professional chef and has since decided to continue to pursue her education.

“I’m going to take my time, sign up for a couple of business-focused classes,” Mathews said. “Whereas the first year was more basic culinary skills, to understand the proper way to do things, how to cost out and how to make money, this class will center more on the business aspect.”

Mathews is state-certified and needed a base-established business to be accountable with. She noted there are a lot of hoops to jump through when endeavoring to start a business.

Launching The Melt Stop just one year ago in July, Mathews keeps a physical calendar, noting events and who she has helping her, if needed. She is well-capable of handling it all on her own, although she occasionally gets assistance from her sister, cousin and husband.

Mathews has catered events that served over 2,000 people and is open to serving at family celebrations such as birthdays, anniversaries and graduations. Being an industrious entrepreneur, she is a proud member of the Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce, understanding the opportunity there to gain exposure and to rub shoulders with other business owners.

“I do flat sandwiches,” Mathews said. “Panini is a flat sandwich, and I had a panini-press commercial grade on my truck, but it was sucking all my generator power and was very heavy so I had to pursue other possibilities.”

Now she does her melts on her flat-top grill. She presents a wide variety of sandwiches, as well as waffle fries, and sells water and Sun Drop.

Most food Mathews gets from Performance Foods (formerly Reinhardt) in Shawano. Other supplies she gets at Sam’s Club in bulk. She gets her bread at Fanita’s Bakery in Shawano. Although she’d love to bake her own bread, she would need a commercial kitchen with an oven. That is something she’d consider long-term, along with purchasing an actual brick and mortar building with a storefront.

Offseason can find Mathews working behind the counter at Sweet Life Eatery in Shawano. Located above Total Fitness, they offer smoothies, grain bowls, salads and beverages.

Mathews, who is married to James (Bubba) Mathews, is the mother of two boys, Maddux, 9, and Ryder, 5.

“Do something you love,” she said. “Don’t stay at a job you hate. Life is too short.”

Mathews can be reached via phone at 715-853-3238 as well as Snapchat and Facebook. She moves around, but when folks can reach her, she’ll greet them with a smile and a delicious melt.