Food trucks are popping up across Charlottetown serving up plenty of variety
Marcelenna Collings blends up a blueberry smoothie at Terry’s Berries, one of six food trucks located in Charlottetown. The entrepreneurial stories behind the food trucks vary as much as the items being cooked up in these restaurants on wheels.
Terry Nabuurs was quick to discover there is a learning curve to cooking in the small confines of a truck.
He has come to realize, for instance, that “every piece of equipment that can go wrong, will break.’’
Yet, such frustrations have done little to rattle the owner of Terry’s Smoothies, a business literally parked at the corner of Great George Street and Water Street in Charlottetown, where Nabuurs serves up smoothies and sandwiches six days a week
Nabuurs, 24, has several years of cooking under his belt, including stints in the kitchens of capital city restaurants Sims Corner and John Brown’s Grille.
Last year, though, he went out west to work on an oil rig to save up enough money to buy a truck to get rolling into his own business.
“It’s kind of a nice feeling to be your own boss - a lot more risk but a lot more freedom to do what you want to do,’’ he says.
“It’s been quite a whirlwind so far - learning lots about the food truck business.’’
Terry’s Smoothies opened three weeks ago with customers eating up his lobster and pulled pork sandwiches, and slurping away at smoothies, including ones fueled with the fruit from his own blueberry farm in Belle River.
Nabuurs considers his location, a space he rents from the city, to be prime.
He works long hours in the food truck, taking off Thursday evenings to coach Special Olympic soccer.
He will be closing shop in late August before going to Alberta where he will teach a culinary program to high school students.
“Right now,’’ he notes, “I just want to be able to have a fun business that I can run in the summer.’’
The entrepreneurial stories behind the food trucks in Charlottetown vary as much as the items being cooked up in these restaurants on wheels.
Sumitra Burke is preparing the spicy delights of her Thailand homeland in her food truck called simply Thai Pad.
She goes to great pains to make food like Tom Yum, yellow curry and Pad Gra Prao to her customers’ exact spicy or mild specifications.
Burke did her best to shy away from a reporter, noting her food will sell itself.
So she handed over a cell phone to her husband, Burke, on the line.
Gary Burke says all of the food served at Thai Pad is made with herbs and spices imported from Thailand, offering authentic flavour.
Sumitra Burke is growing a vegetable garden to provide fresh produce for her meals on wheels.
Thai Paid first opened in Charlottetown in May 2014 at the corner of Allen Street and St. Peters Road, running for eight weeks.
This year, the restaurant is located on Allen Street in the parking lot of the new Upstreet Craft Brewery, where the owners of the brewery see the food truck as complimentary – spicy food, cold beer.
On North River Road, a business called Out To Lunch is serving up more traditional food truck fare.
Poutine, sausages, hamburgers and chicken burgers are on the menu at this new eating locale that opened in May.
Joey Doyle is cooking all summer for his uncle, who bought the food trailer earlier this year.
Doyle says noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday to Friday is the busiest time with the large majority of customers driving away with their orders. A small percentage will eat at one of the two picnic tables situated next to the trailer.
Sumitra Burke, a native of Thailand, runs a food truck called Thai Pad in the parking lot of Upstreet Craft Brewery in Charlottetown.