Food Truck Frenzy

Sep 17, 2015 by     No Comments    Posted under: Lifestyle

Let’s face it most everyone loves food, and particularly when it’s delicious, healthy, different and fast. Cue food trucks! Food trucks have been taking off over the last few years all across the nation. There are even food truck rallies and festivals, catering to all kinds of truck crawlin’ fans.

Street food has also been a huge hit in Paonia. Three food trucks consistently serve our community, including Taco Bliss, 1-2 Thai, and Mad Wrappers. They’re perfect for those busy days when you need a quick bite to eat, or even a slower day when you want to enjoy a meal in the sunshine with a friend.

Located at the intersection of Grand Avenue and 1st Street, the food trucks are in the prime spot of town! Every Monday through Thursday and soon to be Fridays from 11am-2:30pm, locals and visitors alike dash towards the food trucks to fill up on wraps, tacos and Thai food.

Taco Bliss

Taco BlissEd Vaughn and his daughter, Katie are currently in their third season as Taco Bliss, and they are quite the team! Since the early age of 8 and three businesses later, Katie has stood by Ed’s side as his number one business partner. Ed was a former restaurant owner and has been classically trained in French and Italian cooking. The food served at Taco Bliss is a reflection of Ed’s life experience in cooking as he incorporates ingredients from many cultures.

Although owning restaurants was great, the huge overhead, and the stresses of owning a building and managing a large staff made life and success difficult. So over three years ago, when they first laid eyes on a 1969 Roadrunner Camper Trailer, they knew it was time to get back in business; this time on a smaller scale. They worked hard to remodel the Roadrunner into what is now a certified kitchen and taco haven, setting the food truck scene in Paonia.

Taco BlissEd and Katie take a lot of pride in the food they sell, and have harvested about 2,000 lbs. of their very own garden vegetables this year. Everything they serve is homemade with the exception of the tortillas, and most of their ingredients are local, organic, and 75% GMO free. By the end of next year, Ed and Katie aim to serve 100% GMO free food. There are some new menu items this year as well, including original hot sauce, enchiladas, arepas, rice cakes, grit patties and rice, not to mention vegan and vegetarian options too!

Also, Taco Bliss is fully committed to Paonia, the main reason being that they love it here!

“Serving Paonia is honestly a dream come true. The people here are fantastic, appreciative and very complimentary…it makes what we do such a joy.” –Ed Vaughn

1-2 Thai

Alm and Tyson Schneller of 1-2 Thai were inspired to start a food truck business last year while perusing Craigslist. They had been working on a local farm for years, but unfortunately it shut down. Tyson and Alm didn’t know exactly what they wanted to do, but they knew they wanted to stay in Paonia.1-2 Thai

The pair began to search Craigslist for new ideas when they stumbled upon an old American style cuisine food truck. A light went on, and the next thing they knew they were driving to Wyoming to purchase the truck.

Once Alm and Tyson returned to the Valley, they quickly got to work. The truck was in serious need of a makeover as it was equipped with a popcorn machine, a hot dog maker and a thick coat of grease. Alm and Tyson gutted the entire truck and remodeled the inside to meet the standards of a pristine, certified commercial kitchen.

1-2 ThaiAlm and Tyson didn’t know what to expect of owning a food truck, but they did know that it would entail a flexible schedule, mobility, which would allow for traveling opportunities, and a fun way to earn some cash. More importantly, it meant that Alm could carry on the family tradition of preparing street food. Her mother has been serving breakfast on a street corner in Thailand for the past thirteen years. She is a fabulous cook and has instilled in Alm the confidence and skill it takes to run a successful street food business. Alm has been very much influenced and inspired by her mom throughout this endeavor.

When designing a menu for the Thai truck, Alm and Tyson had to consider the types of food that could be prepared in a small truck. Nonetheless, their menu is quite extensive including everything from Tom Yum Soup, to Green Curry to a Vegetarian Special. They are also excited to share two new menu items with their fans next year; Ginger Stir Fry and Pad-See-Ew. Alm and Tyson love the support they receive from the Paonia crowd, and you can catch them in Grand Junction on Fridays as well.

Mad Wrappers

Robin Kauffman of Mad Wrappers is a seasoned restaurant, retail and food truck owner. In the 90s she owned a restaurant in Paonia called Sadie Mae’s, and she’s also had experience running food trucks in Maine. More recently, Kauffman owned a consignment store in Delta called Renovators Warehouse. After five years with Renovators Warehouse, Kauffman sold the store this past October to try her hand in the food truck business again. Kauffman’s reasoning behind this career move was to be able to have the freedom to travel again while still owning her own business.mad wrappers truck

“With a food truck you go to so many different places and meet so many different people. I enjoy the people in this business. They are creative, motivated, hard-working and team oriented.”

Kauffman even has the flexibility to shut down her food truck business in the winter if she’d like, and try something new for a few months.

If you’ve been to Mad Wrappers or have spotted it from a distance, you’ve seen the incredible, Alice in Wonderland themed artwork on the sides of the truck. The murals were painted by Kauffman’s dear friend, Dolores Wilson. Wilson and Kauffman both loved that they were able to use their creative energy to design a unique image. However, the Mad Wrappers truck didn’t always look so nice. Robin spent a lot of time, effort and money to meet the health code requirements of a food truck business, and continues to have more ideas for improvement.

Kauffman chose to serve wraps at her food truck because they’re so versatile. You can put just about anything in a wrap, which is nice for pleasing even the pickiest of eaters.Mad Wrappers

The names of all the wraps prepared at Mad Wrappers correlate with the Alice in Wonderland theme. Some of the more popular wraps include, the Mad Platter, a pulled pork/ green chili wrap, the Pocket Watch, a Greek gyro on pita bread, and the Cheshire, the chicken fajita wrap. Kauffman also has a selection of kid friendly menu items that include prizes.

This winter she plans on revamping the menu with a few new choices. Kauffman has been working hard on finding an affordable gluten free wrap that is the appropriate size for all the delicious filling options. This way she can better accommodate those with dietary restrictions. Until then, she’s been using freshly made tortillas from a great restaurant based out of Grand Junction.

Mad WrappersThe Mad Wrappers are part of a larger group of trucks called Food Truck Fridays. This group travels throughout Mesa County each Friday serving in rotation to Grand Junction, Palisade and Fruita. They’ve also been frequenting Paonia on Mondays and enjoy visiting and having conversations with local folks. Mad Wrappers appreciates how accommodating everyone has been, especially the owner of the Food Truck site, Justy.

A couple common threads among these three food truck businesses is that they all serve fantastic food and they all love working with the North Fork Valley community. If you haven’t ventured out to eat and visit with the Mad Wrappers, Taco Bliss or 1-2 Thai yet, I highly recommend it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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