Food truck revival

Larry Jordan has spent a good portion of his life playing music and being in bands.
Besides being a natural performer, the PoCo rocker understands the ins and outs of band life. There’s the creative element, the instant gratification from the audience and even the setup that goes into a great show.  
It’s an existence that has prepared Jordan perfectly for his next venture, as the operator of a new food truck called Cheeses Crust.
The truck, which would be hard to miss around the Tri-Cities with all of the melted cheese graphics it sports, specializes in the simplest of comfort foods, grilled cheese sandwiches.  
“I just love the whole food-truck idea,” Jordan tells the Tri-Cities NOW, as he gets ready to launch his grand opening at Rocky Point Park this weekend. “The last couple years it’s really taken off — I wanted to be a part of it.”
Jordan, who has made a good living in the IT world, said he’s always been a fan of food, and over the years got pretty good at making sandwiches for his four kids, who are all grown up.
After watching street cart vendors in Philadelphia, he became enamoured by the idea of doing it himself.
He quickly realized he couldn’t compete with some of the great ethnic foods being served up by other food trucks, so decided on a product he knows well.
“All I know is how to make sandwiches,” Jordan said, pointing out the name “Cheeses Crust” is a fun play on words for the man from Nazareth. “I make them the way I would like to have them myself.”
And that means offering a few variations on the classic, including less-than-obvious ingredients like prawns.
Though his food truck hasn’t even really started rolling, Cheeses Crust is already off to a molten start.
It’s booked for some 50-plus dates, and he’s been selected to compete in the Canadian Food Championships in Edmonton this July, in the sandwich category.
While the food truck scene has been hot for years in places like Portland and Vancouver, the dining option is just getting bigger in the suburbs now. In 2012, Port Moody launched a pilot project to have food trucks in Rocky Point Park for the summer. It was successful enough the city expanded it. Coquitlam has also expanded the number of trucks it allows to operate within city limits.
Beyond that, food trucks like Cheeses Crust are finding success partnering with another growing segment of the food and drink industry: craft beer. Jordan has teamed up with the two Port Moody craft breweries to set up in front of their locations, offering the perfect marriage of food and drink for customers.
“It’s a new model; they’re the bar and we’re the restaurant,” he said, describing the atmosphere as being like camping.
And it seems to be working well for both businesses.
Mike Coghill, the owner of Yellow Dog Brewing in Port Moody, said having food trucks in front of his shop gives patrons an opportunity to get something to eat while they wait to fill their growlers.
“In the end, any business wants to give their clientele convenience. It helps from the convenience aspect for sure,” he said, noting he has food trucks in front of his brewery every weekend.
The brewery itself is also taking off, running at full capacity and expanding since it opened.
Coghill said the more food trucks in the Tri-Cities, the more opportunities there will be for breweries like his to partner in the future.
And speaking of the future, Jordan hopes to eventually turn his food truck into an entertainment stop, with music and bands playing where he sets up, taking him back to his musical roots.
“All my band experience hasn’t hurt me,” he said.
“They’re all like gigs.”
Cheeses Crust will be at the PoMo Rotary Sk8 Park for its grand opening weekend from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today (Thursday), Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Dogs are welcome.

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The food truck will also be at Moody Ales Friday night and Yellow Dog Brewery on Saturday. For more info, go to cheesescrust.ca.

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