Jamaica Plain residents Jon Leib and Emily Broad-Leib couldn’t resist getting some fresh BBQ from the food truck BBQSmith while they walked their dog Lula along South Street one recent Saturday. Nor could they resist getting a cupcake once the Cupcakory van pulled up.
“I’m a big fan of food trucks,” Leib said. “I like it because it’s really good food cheap, [it’s] funky, fresh.”
BBQ Smith, purveyor of smoked pork sandwiches and veggie tacos, sets up shop from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lot at 12 South St., while the Cupcakory usually joins them from 1-3 p.m., though sometimes it ends up being 2-4 p.m. Both would like to continue vending through the winter – or at least until the customers stop coming.
“[We will continue] at least through the holidays, and see what happens after that,” said BBQSmith co-owner Tom Smith, warning that the snow and below freezing temperatures might deter customers.
Cupcakory Co-owner Diane DeMarco was a bit more optimistic about her customers’ fortitude for Boston winters. “If they have to travel through snow, then they’ll do it, so that’s what I’m counting on,” DeMarco said. “You still have to live; you…have to walk around.”
BBQSmith started coming to the Loring-Greenough House only six weeks ago, though they have been vending in JP on Thursdays since July. The Cupcakory has been in the Loring-Greenough House since April of this year, and was soon followed by food trucks Staff Meal and Bon Me.
Staff Meal stuck around for a little while, according to co-owner Adam Gendreau, but the meat-laden menu simply didn’t sit well with Jamaica Plain’s vegetarian palate. But, Gendreau said, “If there are carnivores that come to eat our food we’d love to come back.”
Bon Me, a food truck serving Vietnamese-inspired cuisine, came every Thursday from July until October, as well as on Fridays in August, but is focusing on Boston University and Copley for the Winter. They will be back on Thursdays and possibly on Fridays next summer, though. “We definitely had a really good experience in JP and really like going there,” co-owner Patrick Lynch said.
The feeling is shared by the other food truck co-owners as well. “I love JP, I absolutely love JP,” says DeMarco.
Smith and his wife and co-owner Lisa Smith not only like JP; they have been living here for the past seven years. The two are chefs by trade, and worked at Zon’s on Perkins Street before it became , as well as Perdix on Centre Street before it became . They also regularly get their sandwiches from neighborhood grocery store/café , and though they are “not vegetarian[s] by any stretch,” they eat mostly vegetarian at home.
Part of their attraction to vend in Jamaica Plain was to be close to home.
“It’s all people we know…a lot of our neighbors and friends, people you see on Centre Street,” said Smith. “It’s one of the nicest aspects of it…the fact that we know a lot of the people there, it really makes it nice.”
The other attraction was the positive attitude JP residents have for small businesses such as food trucks. “[JP is a] great place to open a small business,” Smith said. “They’re really successful at keeping out huge corporate entities.”
Customer Bevin Kenney couldn’t agree more. “People in JP like to support small businesses, and people in JP love food,” she said after forking down her meal from BBQSmith last Saturday.
[More information about the food trucks mentioned in this article, including schedules and locations, can be found on their websites: www.bbqsmith.com, www.cupcakory.com, www.bonmetruck.com, and www.staffmealboston.com.]