The popularity of food trucks has been picking up speed, but not without a few bumps in the road.
Food trucks in Jackson County came to a stop for awhile when factories and businesses temporarily closed due to COVID-19. Also, most of the summer and fall festivals have been cancelled and that’s where food trucks typically thrive.
Now as the state gradually opens back up, local businesses and organizations are welcoming the rolling food stands to their parking lots and events.
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Community members are stepping up to the window in support.
Nacho Momma’s Burritos
(facebook.com/Nacho-Mommas– Burritos- 647736422060941/)Armando and Beth Torres of Seymour, are the owners of Nacho Momma’s and this is the sixth year their food truck has been in operation.
“We sell a variety of Tex-Mex food including breakfast burritos, nachos, tacos, burrito bowls and several other favorite menu items,” Armando said. “Nacho Momma’s also operates a catering business in which we offer some of our most popular menu items.”
As for how COVID-19 has affected their business, they have lost two of their big clients due to the pandemic, Armando said.
As with most dark clouds, there is always a silver lining to be found.
“We live in such an amazing community that our customers are continually checking on us,” Armando said. “They have continued to support us every time that we have held events around town.”
He said their Saturday morning sales at the Seymour Area Farmer’s Market have just exploded this season from all of their amazing customers supporting them.
Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon at the Farmers Market at St. Louis Avenue and Walnut Street, across the tracks from the Jackson County Public Library, Seymour is where they can be usually be found.
“Thankfulness. That’s the one thing that comes to mind throughout this whole Covid-19,” Armando said. “The Lord has taken care of today, yesterday and He will take care of tomorrow.”
Junkyard BBQ and Homemade Ice Cream
Several years ago, Toby and Tiffani Calhoun of Seymour started making ice cream as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
“We lost all of our parents to lung cancer, so it meant a lot to us to support that mission,” Toby said. “We did it a few years, once per year, before we received a letter from the health department saying we were not legally allowed to continue.”
After prayer and consideration Toby set up a meeting with the health department to find out what they had to do to legally continue.
“Whitney Kovener and the health department worked closely with us and were extremely helpful in the process,” Toby said. “It took us nearly two years to complete a truck and commissary, doing most of the work ourselves. We were approved for service in August of 2019 and started part time.”
Toby left his job as a surgical technologist this past February to run the food truck full time. Tiffani has continued her career as a social worker at Schneck Medical Center.
“We sell pulled pork, brisket, ribs and homemade ice cream. Our menu varies at times and is always evolving. We have keto and non-dairy ice cream. We have a pulled pork mac and cheese, BBQ nachos, sandwiches and have done burritos and quesadillas. There is always a new limited run of ice cream out or being planned.
Toby said it’s hard to say how the pandemic has affected them.
“When we expected our busiest season to start, COVID-19 started,” he said. “Having nothing to compare it to and this being our first year, we rolled with the punches.”
Toby and Tiffani started offering delivery to customers instead of just depending on parking and window service.
“We got permits from surrounding counties so that we could travel easier if needed and so were available for more events,” Toby said. “We were hired for many private events as restaurants were closed and our customers seemed to appreciate the quality BBQ and desserts.”
Toby said he really doesn’t see them being impacted in a negative way.
“We just try to stay focused on what’s important, which is honoring God with hard work,” he said. “Top quality service and food are the result and the verse on our truck is, 1 Peter 4:10 and we stay focused there.”
1 Peter 4:10, NIV: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
“We want to thank our customers for all the support. It’s important to us to be part of the community and we will continue to work with that in mind,” Toby said. “You’ll continue to see and hear of our involvement in community events and find raisers. I plan to continue working all winter, offering deliveries and food truck events.”
Rolling Pig Pin Bakery
The Rolling Pig Pin Bakery food truck, based in Crothersville, just opened for business last month.
“The name came about because I love pigs and was thinking about a rolling pin, a pig pen and came up with a play on words,” Wanda McIntosh, food truck owner, said. “That’s why ‘pin’ in Rolling Pig Pin Bakery is spelled that way, for rolling pin.”
The menu includes a variety of paninis, which are grilled sandwiches on homemade bread, baked goods such as cupcakes, cookies and whoopie pies.
“Whoopie pies are probably one of the main things and I make different flavors of them,” Wanda said. “I also make homemade sides and sauces, sweet rolls and drinks. Subscribe to our page to find out where we are each day.”
So far, business at the Rolling Pig Pin Bakery has been hit and miss.
“I think it’s getting better because people know where I’m going to be located,” Wanda said. “I’ve heard from others in the food truck community that COVID-19 has made it more difficult to just go into a restaurant and sit down.”
A lot of people enjoy the convenience of a food truck, also it gives them more variety and it’s easy to social distance, since food trucks are outside and you can move away from people, unlike the inside of a restaurant where it might not be as easy to stay away from others because you’re in a confined space, Wanda added.
“I’m a food truck, but I also do special orders, like if someone wanted to order a dozen cupcakes or yeast rolls,” she said. “Also, I do call-ahead orders and try to cater to the factory workers that don’t really have a lot of time to stand in line.”
Wanda said she might be venturing into Seymour soon because her town permit was approved, so she just needs to pick up the paperwork and find somewhere that she could park the food truck.
The food truck schedule is on Facebook and currently, Rolling Pig Pin Bakery is in Crothersville twice a week and Scottsburg twice a week.
Don Chuy Taqueria
Jesus and Rosa Zuniga of Seymour, the owners of Don Chuy/La Mexicana grocery store, also operate food trucks that go to local factories.
The small family owned business started out in Seymour about 11 years ago and has grown since then. The food trucks serve authentic Mexican dishes, as well as hamburgers and hot dots.
Jesus said COVID-19 definitely affected their business.
“We were closed for about two-and-a-half months,” he said. “At that time, people said they did not have the money to buy the food.”
They reopened in May and the food trucks are back up and running, stopping at local factories and various businesses around town.
Over the years the Don Chuy Taqueria food truck has not only served the Jackson County community, but they have supported soldiers at Camp Atterbury, too.
Roman Ramirez of Seymour, hopes to open a food truck in the near future, too. Earlier this month he posted a message on Facebook, ‘Very soon in Seymour’ and said they plan to sell tacos, tortas and hamburguesas from his Jalapeno’s Grill food truck.