It’s about time. We’re a food region. But the food truck movement is only just starting to make itself felt in the Comox Valley. We’ve had a mobile eatery that serviced the coffee break and lunchtime trade at worksites. We’ve had festival and special events vendors. As of this past winter, we now have three, more or less stable, mobile (if seasonal) food businesses.
SURFSIDE FISH & CHIPS
The longest running of the three is not just a fish and chips trailer. Kate Mugford is keen to point out their preference for local product in whatever they do, including Fanny Bay oysters, a nod to the time Kate and her business partner, Yasuko Soga, spent working at the Fanny Bay Inn. It was years later, during a quiet moment at the car dealership where they both worked, that Kate mused she’d always wanted to operate a food truck. “Me too!” cried Yasuko. They found and bought the existing Comox marina fish and chips trailer. “We painted it up,” Kate says. “Added our menu. It’s been really good to us.”
OVER THE TOP TURKEY
Dale Breedveld’s Over the Top Turkey truck is the most recent, and with its Lewis Park location, the most visible food truck in the region. He describes his menu as “excessive and outrageous. Definitely not your typical turkey sandwich.”
A self-described foodie, Dale was looking for the opportunity to leave his career as an elevator technician and corporate trainer. He wanted to get out of the city and join his family on the island. Like so many who choose paradise over career, he had to invent a job. Inspired by years of watching food shows and doing small catering jobs, he bought an old food truck and turned it into Over the Top Turkey.
Jesse Purden’s road led from fine dining to what is now the Black Market food truck. A chef at Martine’s for seven years, and following that, at the celebrated Norwoods in Ucluelet, Jesse was looking for an inexpensive way to do his own thing. Black Market is it, delivering high-quality food that people aren’t expecting from a mobile eatery. “I make my own mayo, ketchup, compound butter. No shortcuts. The chicken sandwich takes three days to prepare,” he says. “People’s responses are worth the effort.”
These vendors are part of the larger food truck trend that’s disrupting ideas about how to market, sell, and purchase food across the continent. They’re focused on flavour and immediacy. Getting tasty food into your hands quickly, in the vanguard of what I hope will be a flavour revolution in our region – and a reanimation of our urban experience.
Got food tips for the Comox Valley? Use the #yqqEATS to help promote our local food scene and I’ll make sure to boost your posts.