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Port Moody's newest food truck will provide more than just tasty treats

Diners will be able to enjoy appetizers, finger foods and a variety of burgers, while also helping to support Port Moody Station Museum

The old Venosta passenger train car that’s parked in front of Port Moody’s Station Museum finally has a caboose.

But it’s not where sleepy conductors can catch a few winks.

The Caboose is the name for the new food truck that restaurateur Fred Soofi, of Coquitlam’s Pasta Polo, hopes will become a beloved fixture at the museum as well as a valuable contributor of funds to keep its programs up and running.

The menu to start will be pretty basic, appetizers and finger food, along with a variety of burgers, from beef to lamb to veggie. Simplicity and portability are key, Soofi said. Diners will be able to enjoy their meals at the picnic tables next to the rail car.

The venture actually started five years ago, when Soofi became enamoured with a surplus 1970 GM truck that was used to deliver and distribute supplies like bottled water in emergencies being offered for auction on a B.C. government website.

He bought the truck, with no real set plan for its future. He thought about employing it to support some of the political and humanitarian causes he believes in like human rights.

“It’s unique,” Soofi said of his acquisition.

His enduring passion for heritage sparked conversations with the Port Moody Heritage Society and ultimately an arrangement with the Station Museum for a parking spot at the edge of its parking lot, next to the Venosta, with a percentage of the truck’s sales providing ongoing support for the museum. As well, all profits beyond that will be directed to various community organizations that pitch their idea for funds.

He’s not in the food truck business for the money, Soofi said.

“I like to do something different.”

Outfitting the truck has been a bit of an arduous adventure, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted global supply chains, affecting his ability to secure parts. In fact, delays acquiring some of those parts means his opening date is still a bit of a moving target.

The truck’s spacious kitchen, that includes a refrigerator, commercial stove and deep fryers, is powered by rechargeable electric batteries that will run for about 10 hours, allowing Soofi to take it out and about should the occasion arise.

Prep work will be done in the kitchen at his restaurant with only the final cooking done in the truck.

Soofi said he hopes the food truck will attract visitors from the nearby Brewer’s Row as well as Rocky Point Park, who then might be curious to check out the museum. It will also be on hand for special events at the institution, like last winter’s Christmas market.

Soofi said the truck won’t just provide nourishment for people’s bellies and money for the museum. An art program for the expansive driver’s side of the truck will also be a feast for the eyes as well as provide opportunities for local artists to show off their work or make a statement. Working with PoMo Arts, artists will be able to apply to decorate the panels facing Murray Street. They will be paid an honorarium and the works will be rotated every six months.

“It’s important to support community,” Soofi said, adding he hopes his effort might spur similar entrepreneurial initiatives at other non-profits so they’re not so reliant on grants and government programs.

“It’s something different.”