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.¬† Pair "global" and "taco," and you get wonderful flavors inside a traditional taco. ¬†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.¬†
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?¬†
Jackie Valent: There are many more trucks on the scene since we started.¬† We have also seen so many trucks come and go in a few short years.¬† 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.¬† 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.¬† It costs us less than $800 a year to license that facility.¬† Due to the fact that every municipality and event has its own requirements, I can pay triple that just to operate for the season.¬† 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.¬† It is as if the municipalities are more interested in their fee revenue than building small businesses in the area and creating jobs.
OMC:¬† Favorite food truck, other than your own?¬†
OMC: What "foodie trends" do you like and dislike?¬†
JV: I love the movement toward eating more natural foods and getting away from chemical additives.¬† It may cost a bit more, but you know you are getting more wholesome food that way.¬† 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.¬† I'm also a huge fan of the craft beer movement as well.¬† 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. ¬†
As far as dislikes, I'm not a huge fan of molecular gastronomy.¬† 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?¬†
JV: We do not operate the food truck in the winter, but with the employee cafeteria we run, that is a year-round gig.¬† 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.¬† We just finished our first offering to the public at the Wisconsin State Fair and it went over so well!¬† We are now looking to get the blends into stores within the next few months.
OMC:¬† Define success.¬†
JV:¬† Success to me is the freedom to answer only to you and your customers.¬† I lived in Corporate America for years and though I was financially successful, I was not emotionally successful.¬† Success is being able to live an authentic life the way you want.¬† Oh yeah, paying your bills isn't a bad thing either (she says with a smile). ¬†
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 Nov. 25, 2015
Just in time for your favorite holiday gift giving, a new tin features 21 coaster gift cards to 20 performing arts groups and venues in Milwaukee. Each coaster is redeemable for a "buy one ticket, get one free" offer.
Published Nov. 23, 2015
The Milwaukee Bucks continue to expand their retail footprint with the opening of a new, satellite Bucks Pro Shop location inside Moda 3, 320 E. Buffalo St., in the Third Ward.
Published Nov. 19, 2015
The latest Bucks video spot was released today and will begin airing locally in Milwaukee in the coming days. Titled "Our City," the ad helps to illustrate the power of basketball to connect the community,
Published Nov. 13, 2015
The hotel scene in Downtown Milwaukee, like nearly everything, is changing quickly. Here's a short list of what's up next in greater Downtown. Which ones are you most looking forward to? Chime in and check in.
Published Nov. 13, 2015
Last night, one of the smoke detectors in our attic was beeping. I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out how to get the battery compartment open. I turned, of course, to Google. And, almost instantly, the job was done.
Published Nov. 10, 2015
Lisa Kennedy Montgomery has been in Milwaukee since Friday preparing for tonight's Republican Presidential Debate. She's posting videos of her time in Brew City, and we are sharing them here.
Published Nov. 4, 2015
On Saturday you are invited to celebrate the Downtown region's future highlighted by a performance from hip hop icon DMC and an appearance from Bucks legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Published Nov. 3, 2015
Last week, Stein Gardens and Gifts debuted a new logo and name. After 69 years as Stein Gardens and Gifts, the company is now Stein's Garden and Home.
Published Oct. 30, 2015
Managing 16.5 million gallons of water a year with green infrastructure, UW-Milwaukee is making great strides reducing water pollution in a heavily urbanized area.
Published Oct. 29, 2015
Not lacing up your running shoes this weekend? Here are 10 great spots to watch the PNC Milwaukee Running Festival.