The reasoning behind this story...
As a young child, my pet dream was married to a very rich man...and live the rich life...without doing a day's work...
The dream changed to...a well off man...live a comfortable life...do something for the less privileged.
The dream changed to...give up on the impossible dream and...just obey karma...
I have met many such individuals and couples and families.
I met Jennifer Ross (34) at Maria Niketan (adjacent to Ascencion Church, Bangalore) on a warm April afternoon, this year.
The occasion was a flea market organised by the Anglo-Banglo, which is the Anglo Indian community in Bangalore.
Jennifer stood behind a table which displayed a wide and tempting variety of grilled burgers and other delights. It was impossible not to ask her where one could get more of this mouth-watering "stuff" after the flea market was over for the day.
This led to my being introduced to Jennifer Ross and her husband Dexter (34) who started Smoke Signal BBQ on Wheels in the year 2015, with an initial investment of Rs. 5 lakhs.
The duo explained that though the trend/concept of food trucks has just started in India, they and other like-minded friends are trying to create awareness by doing events at malls, private parties and IT Companies. their rates are reasonable and the food is of excellent quality, with great value for money.
It was Dexter's passion and love for food, specially barbequed food, that was the main reason for their startup.
All the work is done from their home, including the marination (soaking the meat in sauces and spices), making their BBQ sauces and also their own mayonnaise.
Their happy BBQ team consists of the vibrant husband and wife duo and one help.
On a "non busy" day, they have about 40 orders. Prices for the different treats, range from Rs. 80/- to Rs. 250/-.
Dexter and Jennifer are school mates. They got married in the year 2006 and are blessed with three beautiful little girls. Dexter is an Anglo Indian and a live Sound Engineer by profession. He has a sound company named "Sound Waves". However, it was because of his love of food and cooking barbeque that he felt an urge to do something else and hence was born, "Smoke Signal". Wife, Jennifer, is a Manglorean and Goan mix, who is also a foodie. She is an Eudcation Consultant and worked with Galileo India Pvt. Ltd., ealier.
Each time we are out with our truck, serving our customers, we get a wonderful "wow" moment...this happens each and ever time. This month, we were featured in the "Foster's Book", exclaims and exuberant Dexter. The "Foster's Book" covered the food festival.
Since not everyone is equally excited about barbeque, Dexter feels that he has to choose a place to park his truck, very wisely, to ensure that there is a good number of barbeque lovers around. To avoid getting into parking hassles, the opt to do events from home or at places that they are invited to and where parking is not a problem.
However, they have been doing the truck rounds for over a year and are optimistic and hope to add more trucks in the future. Meanwhile, they continue with their present truck, adding value by innovating regularly with their menu. Luckily, there is no competition in this space, as of now.
Some of their friends have food trucks, which cater to other cuisines like north Indian and Chinese food and they try and work together.
For those who know Bangalore, they are currently, most frequently, parked near Clarence School in the Fraser Town area. However, if anyone wants the truck to come to their office or home to cater for a private function, this is possible on advance booking.
Dexter emphasises that he does not tolerate any compromise on the quality of the food served. Hence, if he is unavailable on a particular day, the truck does not move out !
Jennifer and Dexter are sailing on unknown seas...but this does not intimidate them...they firmly believe in what they are doing...not for the financials or numbers...but for the love of food and the love of seeing people enjoying their food...
Stories by M.E.G. Robinson