Stella Zorzos runs the Arma Greek Food & Catering food truck which can be found at local events, Ross Street Plaza Wednesday to Friday, and at Blackburn Park on weekends. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Stella Zorzos runs the Arma Greek Food & Catering food truck which can be found at local events, Ross Street Plaza Wednesday to Friday, and at Blackburn Park on weekends. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Food truck traffic picking up in Salmon Arm

Carried Away owner envisions weekend food truck court

The fleet of food trucks serving Salmon Arm and area continues to flourish.

Jodi Buyck can be found slinging her “smash burgers,” poutine, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and more at her new food truck, The Yukon Smash, located at DeMille’s Farm Market, Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Buyck’s foray into the food service industry began at age 12 when she started catering with her mom.

“She would keep me home from schools some days. That was awesome. And it kind of just blossomed from there,” said Buyck.

Buyck ran her own cafe in Mayo, located “in the heart of the Yukon.” Her food truck’s name, she explained, is a way of paying “homage to home.”

Asked how she’s enjoyed the transition from cafe to food truck, and being at DeMille’s, Buyck replied, “So far, so great.” She said she plans on expanding her menu, with her sights set on a grilled lemon chicken burger, as well as a vegetarian burger option.

Stella Zorzos runs the Arma Greek Food & Catering food truck, which can be found at local events, including the Zest Night Market held Fridays, 5 to 8 p.m. at the Zest Commercial Food Hub, as well at the Ross Street Plaza on Wednesday (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), Thursday (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Friday (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), and at Blackburn Park on Saturday and Sunday (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

Though the food truck is new to Zorzos, her cooking isn’t new to Salmon Arm. Zorzos and her family have operated numerous restaurants in the Interior, including Tangas Rib House, which she and her brother ran in Salmon Arm between 1984 and 1989.

Zorzos said she recently relocated from Winnipeg (where she opened four restaurants) to Salmon Arm to be close to family. Though she wanted to get back into the restaurant biz, she was having trouble finding a location, and was also concerned about finding staff.

“I saw Carried Away (food truck) last spring when I was here for my grandson’s birthday and I said, ‘You know what? That may be my solution,’” said Zorzos.

Zorzos’ menu includes souvlaki wraps, Greek salad and spanakopita. Born in Greece, Zorzos said it’s food she loves, her kids love, and she’s finding her customers love too.

“I know there was demand for it,” said Zorzos. “Even if there was another Greek restaurant, I’d still do the same thing. It’s my thing… and there’s room for more.”

Regarding Carried Away, owners Stanley and Melissa Alderliesten of Tappen are working on adding another taco truck to their fleet.

“We have two trucks now, and are building a third to do mostly weddings and larger catering events,” Stanley explained. “We couldn’t keep up with staff for three trucks. It’s a lot to handle.”

Alexa Zibin is part of the Alderliestens’ plans for expansion. Zibin has signed a contract to run one of the trucks, with the intent of eventually owning it.

“All through August (2021), she was basically running that truck, helping us get through,” said Stanley. “I talked to her this winter and said, ‘Hey, if you want to run your own truck, I think you’re more than capable of doing it. You proved that last summer.’”

The Alderliestens’ goal is to get a food truck franchise going. Their contract with Alexa is one way of getting there.

“You need to have eight locations to do that, or if you can find someone really good who you trust, you can set up a separate business for them and then they work as a contractor,” said Stanley. “So that’s what we’re doing with Alexa…

“This winter we basically just travelled and looked around at cities that had good food truck bylaws – kind of like Salmon Arm. The reason why food trucks work great here is because, for starting out, they give you seven or eight locations you’re allowed to work out of. Osoyoos is really good for that and Nelson is also really good for that.”

Read more: Self-trained Salmon Arm chef aims to celebrate Shuswap with exciting food truck menu

Read more: Food truck options to expand in Salmon Arm

As of June 6, a Carried Away food truck could be found at the Ross Street Plaza from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, at Marine Peace Park from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, on Fridays at McGuire Lake from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Zest from 5 to 8 p.m. and at Sunnybrae Winery from noon to 5 p.m. On Saturdays, Carried Away is at the downtown farmers market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunnybrae Winery from noon to 8 p.m. and Marionette Winery from 5 to 8 p.m.

As Salmon Arm’s food truck population continues to grow, Stanley said he’d like to see a time and a place arranged for a food truck court in the city – similar to the Zest Night Market, where food trucks and diners can converge. He also wishes to pursue with the city the option to allow more than one food truck in one of Salmon Arm’s designated food truck locations, such as McGuire Lake.

“I have one menu item; I just sell tacos,” said Stanley. “So maybe you get a group of six or seven people and three or four of them want tacos and the other three want something else. Lots of time they just leave…Whereas if you have another food truck beside you, the group splits up and they stay. I think that’s how food courts in the malls work. It gives large groups options to choose from and everybody prospers.”

More information on The Yukon Smash, Arma Greek Food & Catering and Carried Away can be found on their Facebook pages.


lachlan@saobserver.net
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Alexa Zibin is the new operator of a Carried Away food truck. (Contributed)

Alexa Zibin is the new operator of a Carried Away food truck. (Contributed)

Jodi Buyck runs The Yukon Smash food truck, located Monday to Friday at DeMille’s Farm Market. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Jodi Buyck runs The Yukon Smash food truck, located Monday to Friday at DeMille’s Farm Market. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)