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Graeme Smith, founder of Hamilton food truck Gorilla Cheese, dies

The person behind one of Hamilton’s most well-known and successful food trucks has sadly passed away.

Graeme Smith, a former steel worker, shifted his career priorities in 2011 by founding Gorilla Cheese: an immensely popular food truck serving up gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and attracting massive lineups virtually everywhere they stopped.

Gorilla Cheese became a staple of festivals and public events all over the greater Hamilton area, on top of regularly stopping at a wide variety of locations citywide so locals could get their taste of sandwiches like The Lumberjack, topped with Granny Smith apple slices, maple syrup, and bacon; or the Zesty Mordant, given a kick with the playful addition of crushed Doritos.

Through years of successful services, Graeme himself was often the first friendly face locals would see upon approaching Gorilla Cheese’s iconic food truck. He was the brand’s hardest-working ambassador and its engine endlessly driving forward.

Other major milestones followed, including a successful stint pitching Gorilla Cheese on CBC’s hit show Dragon’s Den, and briefly opening a brick and mortar location along Ottawa Street.

Graeme’s endless positivity, passion, drive, and love for Hamilton’s food scene are sure to be remembered fondly by countless people in the city and well beyond.

“Graeme was more than a customer; he was a friend,” wrote Jensen Cheese – one of Gorilla Cheese’s long-time suppliers – in a post on Facebook. “Thank you Graeme for all you have done making the humble grilled cheese a gourmet meal.”

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