“I really loved baking, and I love the way people get so excited when they come up to an ice cream truck,” says the Costco member. “I wanted to capture that, without the ice cream.” After discussing the idea with her hus- band, Tony—an electrician by day and a “fabulous froster” by night, says Pacheco— she began drafting plans for her mobile cup- cake business in October 2011. Her custom-built Mercedes Sprinter truck, with its built-in racks and countertop convection oven capable of baking 60 cupcakes at a time, hit the road in May 2012. Some days see Pacheco up at 4 a.m. to start the cupcake batter and on the road by 9 a.m., with frosting often applied on the way to an event (watch those bumps). She will have already tweeted that day’s location to her 1,000-plus Twitter followers, many of whom will be anxiously awaiting the arrival
of her familiar blue van.
MEALS ON WHEELS
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21
JoJo’s BBQ • Calgary, AB
EATING BARBECUE IS all about smoke,
and where there’s smoke, there’s mess:
wood coals, ash and char; sauce smeared on
chins and sticky fingers. That helps to
explain why, in the southern U.S. barbecue
belt that arcs from Texas to the Carolinas,
barbecue pits are casual joints better known
for butcher paper than fancy linen.
It makes perfect sense that one of Calgary’s
inaugural food trucks is JoJo’s BBQ, housed in
the Chariot of Smoke, a retrofitted motor
Because Toronto regulations limit food
trucks to 30 minutes on public property,
nearly all of Pacheco’s business comes from
corporate events and weddings. The company’s single biggest day came during the dusk-
Cynthia Pacheco offers 30 varie-ties of cupcakes at her food truck,
aptly called Curbside Bliss.
to-dawn Nuit Blanche art event in Toronto
last year, when Pacheco sold 3,500 cupcakes.
“We had a lineup until 5 a.m.,” she says
with a laugh. “I was frosting the entire night.”
Pacheco is already doing what she loves,
but finding such huge success is literally the
icing on the cake.—Chris Powell
JESSE MILNS PHO TOGRAPH Y
Have food, will travel
22 The Costco Connection JULY/AUGUST 2013
Inspired by the vibrant food truck industry they
found in California during a barbecue trade show in
San Diego, The Gourmet Group ( www.thegourmet
group.com), a well-established Toronto-based catering company, decided to build a food truck of their
own. The Urban Smoke Fusion BBQ food truck
has become a popular fixture in Toronto—especially
when it arrives with its trademark smoker trailer.
Trevor Finch has a simple goal for his food truck,
Bon burger ( www.bonburger.ca): to bring good burgers to Regina, Saskatchewan. “I’ve always had an
interest in starting my own food-related business, and
this seemed like a great way to offer good quality food
in an affordable manner,” he tells The Connection.
a bed of delicious marinara sauce,” Jim reports.
In 100 Mile House, British Columbia, Keith
Jackson and his girlfriend, Laura Baerg, remodelled
their 1977 Scamper motor home and turned it into
a food truck they call Eat Happiness. They show
up at their local farmers’ market as well as car
shows, special events and fundraisers. Their specialty: organic baked goods and gourmet coffee.
Vicki Wiwcharyk found a steady and appreciative clientele for waffles and frozen yogurt
cones at her truck, The Fresh Waffle Company,
which travels to events in the Halton Hills area
of southern Ontario. She has expanded her menu
to include homemade crepes, sirloin burgers,
sandwiches and more.
If you’re looking for fast food, La Vida Vegan
( www.lavidavegan.ca) in Parksville, British Columbia,
is not for you. Owners Sheila and Oswaldo Aviles
make all their food from scratch, without the use of
cans, refined sugar, preservatives or animal products. “Unlike the stereotypical food truck, we serve
slow food, not fast food,” Sheila explains.
The Costco Connection
Many of the food truck operators profiled here
rely on Costco for supplies needed in their
businesses, such as fresh fruits, vegetables,
meat, cookware, sundries and more.
TAKE A DOSE OF PASSION for food, add a splash of
entrepreneurial spirit, and you have the makings of
a mobile food business. Many Costco members
from across the country who operate food trucks
responded to The Connection’s call for their stories.
Connie and Wayne Emmerick operate Wild
Cactus B-B-Q in Merritt, British Columbia. Avid
backyard cooks, they took their show on the road
on a large cargo trailer to serve remote logging
companies, the local ATV club and other groups.
These days, you can find them in Merritt: Just follow your nose to the smell of pork back ribs, pulled
pork, homemade sausages and more.
Jim and Lori Godina operate a bright red
truck named Dobro Jesti, ( www.dobrojesti.ca),
which means “good eats” in Slovenian, in the
greater Toronto area from Niagara Falls to
London. Their menu was inspired by Jim’s parents’ homeland. “We serve schnitzel in various
sandwiches and have become very famous for
our risotto rice balls with a goat cheese centre,
deep-fried with a crispy panko coating and laid in