“Jeez, that leaves just three. Saffron, One of a Thai… gee, that’s only two, isn’t it?”
Even Murray Jones sounds surprised by the lack of depth on Yellowknife’s food truck bench now his own enterprise, Murray’s Curbside Treats’n Eats, is winding down after five years.
Jones made the announcement on Tuesday.
“We had a long, hard look at it,” he told Cabin Radio, adding he eventually decided to “spend more time with the family at the lake this summer.”
“The family is growing a little bit – more grandkids and great grandkids,” he said, “and so it’s time to spend more time out there.”
With the closure of Noodo Monster at the start of the year, Saffron and One of a Thai are the only remaining regular operators from previous years expected to participate in Yellowknife’s coming food truck season.
Within a month, the City of Yellowknife will conduct a draw to determine who gets which downtown spot (though operators who miss the draw can still start up after it takes place, in any vacant location).
It’s not clear if anyone new is expected to enter the mix.
Businesses like Big Guy Fries are known for attending events like the Long John Jamboree and Folk on the Rocks but did not enter the City’s draw last year. High-end restaurant Copperhouse has shown enthusiasm for pop-up locations, such as at this year’s Jamboree.
Running a food truck involves far more effort than may meet the eye, Jones said.
“I was on the street for three-and-a-half hours a day,” he recalled. “You’re looking at at least 10 or 12 hours’ work for that three-and-a-half hours on the street.
“There’s repairs and maintenance, and you’re doing fresh food preparation, daily. So yeah, it’s a lot of work.
“[But] it was just amazing. It was a bit of a surprise, and overwhelming at times – we really enjoyed it, the customers were fantastic. It was so good to open up the doors on a regular basis to a bit of a lineup and friendly faces.”
Jones said some of his most treasured memories with the truck are from smaller, private events.
“To just pull in someone’s backyard and do a wedding with a small group of people there? That’s a lot of fun,” he said.
Jones added he hopes someone new joins the city’s food truck club – and that operators keep working together.
“We always had a good working relationship with the other food trucks and I found out, over the years and travelling to other cities, food trucks do better in groups.
“So we always tried to support each other.”