With the help of a window, food trucks basically practiced social distancing before social distancing was a thing. Like other small businesses, they’re still being forced to get a little creative with their plans.
They See Them Rollin’, They Eatin’
Meat and Greek Eatery and Market recently unveiled their new “Grek-Mex” truck, the Greek Sombrero. Co-owner Brittany Arsi said they originally planned the truck’s debut at a nearby taco and taps festival, but cancelations prompted them to take a different route.
After receiving multiple requests on social media, Brittany and her husband Oresti hit the road to neighborhoods. They’ll continue to these ice cream truck-style rounds upon invitation.
“We’re staying afloat as much as we can for as long as we can,” Brittany said.
The menu features items that blend Greek staples like pork al pastor, gyro and tzatziki sauce with Mexican favorites like pico de gallo and guacamole. “This was truly a tequila-inspired muse,” Brittany said. “Grek-Mex blends two huge flavor profiles.”
The new truck has also allowed Brittany and Oresti to provide employment opportunities in a time of layoffs. “Part of our job is to find more work, so we’re getting our trucks out every day,” she said. “If the trucks are going out, it’s more work for everyone.”
Brittany added that they’ve taken extra cleaning precautions. In addition to changing gloves frequently, they’re even sanitizing their boxes of takeout supplies.
Business (Almost) As Usual
Other area food trucks are also doing their part to keep the party going. They’ve been serving folks in the parking lot of Harris Teeter in Taylortown, along with Nana & Papa’s Old Fashioned Burgers, Jaya’s Indian Cuisine and more.
Following the closure of the grocery store’s hot bars, management at the mega-Teet gave food trucks permission to set up in their parking lot so their employees would have more lunch options.
“It’s been a serious roller coaster,” Wildfire Pizza owner Ouida Newell said. “I’m just grateful to have a job.”
Ouida said she’s been on the road seven days a week and business hasn’t slowed down much.
Pony Espresso in Southern Pines is another low-touch spot that is maintaining business. Owner Rachel Jurgens said Pony Espresso’s weekday hours have changed to 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. to reduce the risk of exposure for her employees. Regardless, she said she’s seen many of her regular customers and even a few new ones.
“We have the neatest customers. I’m trying to stay open to be one piece of normalcy for people,” Rachel said. “I think people feel comfortable because they’re able to stay in their cars.”
All nurses, doctors and first responders can get a cup of coffee on the house, and food trucks in need of a spot to set up are welcome on her property on South Broad Street.
“Watching this town step up for one another is amazing,” Rachel said. “We are so lucky.”