Jacksonville Food Truck:Backstreets Catering Food Truck

June 28, 2014 1 comment Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

EatDrinkJax.com shares their interview with Backstreets Catering Food Truck

Trip Shriver

16. Do you have set locations yet?

Not entirely. We’ve been in Riverside near the Fidelity and Everbank towers on Fridays. We’re going to be at Palm Cove Marina on Sunday mornings from 10am - 2pm. We’re also looking towards locations in the Beach area now that they have relaxed their restrictions on food trucks. The best thing is to follow us on Facebook to see our latest location.

17. Do you do a lot of catering?

It’s definitely a big part of what we’re about. We have the truck and a whole range of steam tables so that we can serve in any environment, inside or out. We've marketed ourselves toward community events, family gatherings and even casual business meetings; we used to carry our fare in to banquets, but these days people are crazy about food trucks and enjoy the ease and charm of walk-up service. Our largest event was an 800-person picnic dinner during Washington, D.C.'s Police Week, in honor of and hosting families of fallen law-enforcement officers. That was a tall order for a family owned and operated business, but it was an honor to step up to that challenge. Locally, we've started booking family reunions and even casual wedding dinners.

18. Can you tell us about your background?

Trip: I started in a restaurant when I was 16, working first as a dishwasher and working my way up to being a short order cook. When I graduated high school I joined the service. Afterwards I went back into the restaurant business where I spent my entire adult life. I always loved being in the restaurant environment and being a part of it. My dream was to have my own restaurant, which I eventually opened with a partner. It was a Tex-Mex restaurant in Virginia that we operated for many years. When we eventually decided to go our separate ways, I downsized and we started this mobile catering business. Northern Virginia wasn’t very progressive and didn’t allow food trucks to move about, so we relied on catering and concession contracts. For the most part I was located at a single office park during the week, but we also serviced a lot of Blue Ridge wine-country festivals and did a lot of catering.

19.What drew you into the restaurant business?

Trip: I’ve always enjoyed cooking, whether it was in a restaurant or cooking in our home for friends and family. I’ve always enjoyed people’s reaction to what I cook - it's what I have to give, and it's gratifying when people appreciate it. When someone comes back and gushes over my cheesesteak it makes me feel really good.

20. Why did you go from owning a Tex-Mex restaurant to owning a barbecue style food truck? Why not open a Mexican themed food truck?

Trip: I fell in love with the rotisserie on the back of my trailer as soon as I saw it, and from that time I envisioned it as a barbeque pit. It called my name and said “you’ve got to do this!” I love grilling and smoking. I’ve always loved barbecue, and when I finished with the Tex-Mex restaurant, I found myself freed up to pursue this and other ideas.

21. How did you get to Jacksonville?

Ulka: We’d been in Virginia for a long time but it’s a little more hectic and congested than we wanted as an environment for raising our daughter. We decided to move somewhere warmer and closer to the coast. Trip has a sister who has lived in Jacksonville for a long time so we've come to visit Northeast Florida from time to time. There are so many factors that were right for us here. It’s an emerging city without being too big. It has the beach as well as a thriving downtown. It was southbound, but ecclectic and welcoming. Of course we wanted to be near the beach, so we ended up moving to Ponte Vedra Beach.

22. Where did you get the name of your food truck?

Trip: It’s from a Bruce Springsteen song called "Backstreets." It was on the Born to Run album and is one of my favorite songs. It clicked with me one day because we were going to be on the back streets, and it seemed really fitting and inspiring.

Sabina, Ulka and Trip Shriver

(703) 472-8181


About the writer

EatDrinkJax.com interviews are conducted by Jacksonville Beach resident Gerry Glynn. When Gerry isn't talking with restauranteurs he is working for a local software company, training for his next road race, and hanging out with his wife and dog.

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