Wait up, summer's not over yet. You can tell because the streets are still lined with the ever-growing food truck culture in Milwaukee. It's Food Truck Week here at OnMilwaukee.com and all week long we're stopping at some of Brew City's best restaurants on wheels in search of the most interesting dishes on offer.
In 2010, The Fast Foodie introduced Milwaukee to the concept of the globaco.Â Pair "global" and "taco," and you get wonderful flavors inside a traditional taco. Â The Jamaican Me Crazy mixes curried beef and rice with hot sauce and broccoli slaw.
Since I haven't eaten at The Fast Foodie in a few months, I decided to reach out to owner Jackie Valent and ask her a few questions about her business, the state of the food truck business in Milwaukee and other things.Â
So, here you have it. A mini Milwaukee Talks with The Fast Foodie herself.
OnMilwaukee.com: How has the food truck scene changed since you started?Â
Jackie Valent: There are many more trucks on the scene since we started.Â We have also seen so many trucks come and go in a few short years.Â The city has realized that food trucks are here to stay and not just a passing fad and are more willing to sit down with us as business owners vs. simply viewing us as "street peddlers."
OMC: Biggest challenge, so far?
JV: The biggest challenge for us so far has been the disorganization of the licensing process and how much it costs to be a mobile restaurant.Â For example, we also run an employee cafeteria (brick and mortar) for a company downtown that we got based on our food truck's reputation.Â It costs us less than $800 a year to license that facility.Â Due to the fact that every municipality and event has its own requirements, I can pay triple that just to operate for the season.Â There is no reason we should pay triple of what a brick and mortar restaurant has to pay when we are only operating for six months out of the year.Â It is as if the municipalities are more interested in their fee revenue than building small businesses in the area and creating jobs.
OMC:Â Favorite food truck, other than your own?Â
OMC: What "foodie trends" do you like and dislike?Â
JV: I love the movement toward eating more natural foods and getting away from chemical additives.Â It may cost a bit more, but you know you are getting more wholesome food that way.Â I also love the pop up restaurant concept that allows great chefs to test out their menus on the public without the huge investment in a location.Â I'm also a huge fan of the craft beer movement as well.Â My husband and I are huge beer snobs and love the fact that Milwaukee is reclaiming its title as Beertown USA with such awesome new breweries as Brenner Brewing and Biloba Brewing in Brookfield. Â
As far as dislikes, I'm not a huge fan of molecular gastronomy.Â There's a lot of great science behind that and all, but I'd rather see folks cook out of love and passion.
OMC: What do you do in the winters?Â
JV: We do not operate the food truck in the winter, but with the employee cafeteria we run, that is a year-round gig.Â I have also just launched a line of all natural international spice blends called Love Dust that allow both the seasoned foodie and novice cook to create dishes from every corner of the globe with no effort.Â We just finished our first offering to the public at the Wisconsin State Fair and it went over so well!Â We are now looking to get the blends into stores within the next few months.
OMC:Â Define success.Â
JV:Â Success to me is the freedom to answer only to you and your customers.Â I lived in Corporate America for years and though I was financially successful, I was not emotionally successful.Â Success is being able to live an authentic life the way you want.Â Oh yeah, paying your bills isn't a bad thing either (she says with a smile). Â
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jeff Sherman
Published May 19, 2015
Kenny "The Jet" Smith will help make a donation to the Milwaukee Urban League Young Professionals on behalf of Coors Light, to reFRESH the community basketball court at Washington Park in Milwaukee.
Published May 19, 2015
One of the best slides from yesterday's Public Policy Forum luncheon showed a Flirk map of Downtown Milwaukee. It contrasted, by color, where locals took and shared photos vs. photos from visitors. And, the contrast was striking.
Published May 19, 2015
A new report by Hunden Strategic Partners in Chicago was presented yesterday at a Public Policy Forum luncheon at the Intercontinental Milwaukee. It calls for more connectivity and density, and makes some obvious but not apparent to all observations.
Published May 15, 2015
Stacie Callies is the executive director of the Westown Association. She's been with the Downtown organization for nearly 14 years but 2015 may signal the most change the area has even seen. Amidst arena discussions and more, Jeff Sherman caught up with Callies for this latest edition of "Milwaukee Talks."
Published May 12, 2015
The May edition of a popular food lifestyle publication that offers "life through the lens of food," is out and Milwaukee has a large presence in print and online.
Published May 11, 2015
While country music dominates the traditional radio airwaves in greater Milwaukee, Downtown Milwaukee doesn't really have a big "country festival" like several other out state cities do. Until now and this summer.
Published May 8, 2015
For me, watching "TV" is a matter of time management. I find time for things that provide value and create entertainment value in my life. I think you should too. So, here's a list of what I watch and why.
Published May 6, 2015
Hugh Bob and the Hustle's new single, "Lost and Found," will be featured on tonight's episode of "Nashville."
Published May 1, 2015
Shorts weather is here. And, to help you prepare I found an expert on the subject right here in Milwaukee.
Published April 25, 2015
Chris Rock may not be a baseball expert, but he's a fan and his thoughts on the game are entertaining and fairly spot on. He shared them recently on one of my favorite shows, HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel."