Joel Bennett is getting ready to open his food truck for a second season.
Some might not be familiar with Bennett’s Black Boxes Food truck.
While business wasn’t bad last year, “the biggest hindrance is a lot of people don’t know there’s a food truck at the marina,” he said of Bridge Port Marina, at 434 Couchiching Point Rd.
Bennett opened Black Boxes Food Truck in June 2020. Despite a few challenges that came with opening during a pandemic, the first season went well. He estimated 80 per cent of his business came from those using the marina, and he’s hoping more people in the community will take notice.
He had been cooking in Toronto for more than a decade before opening his food truck in Orillia. His menu items are a sort of fusion, but the fare “fits into the vibe of a food trailer,” he said.
“I took some of the greatest hits of what I like to eat and put it on the menu,” he said of offerings that include kimchi sweet potato fries, trout, and a chorizo sandwich.
Black Boxes Food Truck will open for the season May 1. That’s 19 days before the province is expected to lift the current stay-at-home order.
“I had all my ducks in a row before that announcement,” Bennett said of his decision to open May 1.
It also gives him time to train staff. He was the only one working at the food truck last year.
It’s a busy time for Bennett. He is also a partner in PICNIC Provisions and Snack Bar, set to open soon in downtown Orillia. While public health guidelines mean restrictions on restaurants, at Black Boxes Food Truck, “the whole business model is takeaway,” he said.
When he opens May 1, business hours will be Thursday to Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. When the stay-at-home order is lifted, the hours will shift to 12 to 8 p.m.
For more information about Black Boxes Food Truck, check out its Instagram.