A truckload of tasty treats will be hitting the streets of Fort Smith this summer when local food aficionado Denise Yuhas’ “Street Treats” food truck rolls into town.
Already famed around town for her ultimate thirst quencher “the lemonator” and “those darn li’l donuts,” Yuhas is upping the status of her streetfood venture by moving out of her little red trailer kitchen and into an 18-foot commercial restaurant on wheels starting this spring.
Under the slogan of “Truckin’ Good Food,” Yuhas is ready to serve everything from homemade ice cream to pulled pork, seafood and tacos over the summer, debuting the enterprise with a grand opening at this year’s Fort Smith trade show in May.
“Our goal is to do good food at a reasonable price,” Yuhas said. “Who knows, maybe we’ll come up with the ultimate dish and up the exposure up here.”
Yuhas and her partner Dwayne Woodward spent a chunk of last fall driving the rig – a former Fedex truck bought secondhand in Edmonton – down to Surrey, BC where they had world-renowned mobile meal masters Apollo Food Trucks transform the vehicle into a “beautiful stainless steel playground” capable of cooking just about anything.
Since then, Yuhas has been attending food trade shows and talking to chefs and other food truck operators in order to glean ideas for her menu and marketing, while the truck is now in Richmond, BC receiving the final eye-catching artwork that will make it impossible to miss.
Apart from regular servings around the week, Yuhas wants to see the truck hit up meetings, special events, birthday parties and other sorts of gatherings, hoping it will “fill the gap” that sometimes exists around town at different times of the year.
“The idea is to complement what we already have in Fort Smith, not compete with what anyone else is doing,” she said. “The way I see it is the more choices people have, the better service everyone’s going to get.”
Yuhas said she’s excited to provide work for a few interested people in town who want to get more hands-on experience in the restaurant business, and potentially provide a platform for the community’s myriad of “closet chefs” to come aboard as guest cooks.
She also plans to continue using the business to support local charitable organizations like the Society for People with Disabilities, the Seniors’ Society and the Circle of Friends, and potentially hit the road to events in other communities.
With the lineups Yuhas has experienced running her trailer at celebrations like Canada Day and Aboriginal Day in years previous, she has few doubts about the success of the business. But money aside, she said she’s just looking forward to this new adventure, backed by the support of her friends and family.
“We made a serious investment in this, and it’s because I think the people of Fort Smith are worth it,” she said.