On a recent Thursday at about 11 a.m., Tina Cook got her first order of the day — a Vietnamese bahn mi sandwich. The order had arrived by text from somewhere within the massive Bank of America call center complex she could see from the window of her food truck. She pulled a plastic container of marinated chicken out of a small refrigerator as her 5-year-old daughter Mackenzie ducked under her arm. It was a moment of domestic choreography that a year ago might have happened in Cook's home kitchen in Searsmont.

Cook opened her food truck business, Chef on the Run, in May 2016 and now makes regular stops around Belfast each week, typically dropping anchor within a stone's throw of a major employer.

Though the business is little more than a year old, it was many more years in the making. Cook worked at a number of restaurant and bakery jobs, and for a time operated her own baking business, Simply Heaven Pastries, from home.

Several years ago, she decided to open a restaurant — her dream is still to open a burger bistro. When she was ready to take the plunge, her husband was supportive, but a small business counselor cautioned against it.

"They just look at your profit and loss sheet and just flatly tell you if it looks like you can bring in enough." They didn't think she could. "Especially in this area," she said.

She put the dream aside for a time but came back to it, newly energized, after seeing the movie "Chef," about a creatively stifled cook who gives up a high-profile restaurant job for the low-key independence of a food truck.

Cook, too, wanted to get out of the kitchen and she didn't want to work at home. Her first thought was a mobile bakery. She and her husband renovated a mobile camper, but when they installed the equipment they realized the axle couldn't bear the weight and they abandoned the project. Ultimately, she got a used truck from a company that stocks vending machines. Her husband retrofitted the truck, using his knowledge of welding and other mechanical skills, and she hit the road.

Cook had the truck painted purple — her favorite color, the color of her stepfather's race car, and, as she would later find out, a color that just makes people smile. Coming up with a name was harder. Friends encouraged her to make a play on her last name — "Chef Cook" was one she considered — but ultimately went with Chef on the Run, with the tagline "Catch me if you can."

The purple food truck — her Instagram handle is @purplefoodtruck — makes a regular circuit in Belfast during the week, spending two afternoons at the Bank of America and OnProcess Technology call center complex, two at Penobscot McCrum and the footbridge, a full day outside Bangor Savings Bank, where she has been able to pick up some former Scallions customers, and one evening at the Wentworth Event Center. She also hits several festivals and one-off gigs during the summer.

Appearances outside large employers might bring to mind the old fashioned lunch wagon, but Cook's menu, which includes local ingredients and offbeat orders — Cubano sandwiches, beignets instead of doughnuts, and hamburgers on brioche rolls — is more in line with the foodie leanings of the recent food truck movement.

Quality comes at a price, and Cook has had to balance her food goals with the limited local appetite for $11 cheeseburgers. During a typical afternoon, she might serve 15 meals. At Bank of America and OnProcess, that translates to about 1 percent of the workers, she figured. If it rains or snows, the turnout could be less. She noted that many workers bring lunches. And there are other options for eating out.

"I compete with McDonald's," she said, matter-of-factly.

It takes her about five minutes to make a meal. Her kitchen is well-organized and she moves with the calm efficiency of a seasoned cook. Some workers text their orders to her. She tries to remember faces and preferences.

Ten meals is her break-even point. Twenty would be "perfect," she said. At about noon Thursday, she counted the short stack of paper receipts stabbed on a check spindle. There were six, which was enough to elicit a smile.

"That's a good start," she said.