It’s hard to miss the colorfully painted black truck parked in area lots, delicious smells wafting from its open windows and doors.
The truck is home to Jellybean and Julia’s, a food truck venture started by husband and wife team Cory Swap and Koli Fyten-Swap.
The Anoka-based business became licensed to sell food Aug. 1 and since then has been hitting the streets, selling food at places in Anoka, Nowthen and Ramsey.
Currently Jellybean and Julia’s stops at Graco in Anoka Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Rum River Wine and Spirits in Ramsey Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m. and Goose Lake Farm and Winery in Nowthen Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.
On the menu are sandwiches and other items with a unique blend of sauces and jams created by Fyten-Swap. Plans are under way to add chili and soups as well as ready to go salads to the menu later this fall.
“It’s all scratch cooking,” Fyten-Swap said.
The venture into the food truck business came as an extension of the couple’s interests.
“We’ve been wanting to do something for quite a while,” Fyten-Swap said.
She and Swap did private party catering prior to opening Jellybean and Julia’s.
Swap also had been a cook previously, having done just that in his first job.
“I always loved to cook,” he said.
According to Fyten-Swap, the original plan was to go commercial with her canning, which she sells at area farmers’ markets.
The couple secured kitchen space in Anoka to do just that. However, the space was too small for that venture and the husband and wife team turned to operating a food truck, something they had also been considering.
“We thought to heck with it,” Fyten-Swap said.
The couple cashed in their retirement savings and bought a food truck.
The truck that is the mobile home of Jellybean and Julia’s was purchased by the couple in Portland, Ore., and shipped to Minnesota. It was a white, nondescript vehicle that the pair worked on all summer to bring up to code.
After passing inspections and getting licensed for food sales, the couple took Jellybean and Julia’s on the road. Response was good, but Fyten-Swap said the vehicle was often getting missed by potential customers who didn’t realize it was a food truck.
That’s when friends of the couple stepped up and offered to paint the truck.
Today, the vehicle is entirely black with Jellybean and Julia’s (which incidentally are the middle names of the couple’s two daughters) scrawled in hot pink and other colors.
As the weather is changing and fall turns to winter, Fyten-Swap said they plan to keep the food truck operating as long as possible. The only thing stopping them in cold weather is the possibility that the water tanks could freeze.
If typical Minnesota winter is in the works, Fyten-Swap said they are looking at providing a boxed lunch service to meet the needs of hungry workers.
For more information, visit www.jellybeanandjulias.com.
Kelly Johnson is at [email protected]