In 2018, J’s Good Grub built instant loyalty regionally with fresh, flavor-packed soul food and chill vibes.
Folks will sprint down the street, drive across state borders and stand, or dance, in line for an hour to taste the truck’s famous Cajun ranch fries and boom boom shrimp.
Now, the family-owned business is expanding its reach and customer base with a second food truck. But it won’t be an exact replica of the beloved first, according to owner Jeremy “Jay” Johnson.
The second food truck presents the opportunity to prioritize people’s specific diets, including vegan and gluten-free, with options like salads, veggie burgers, wraps and sandwiches.
“I just want to have something for everybody,” Johnson said. “I don’t like having to turn people away.”
The new truck will also have three friers specified to avoid cross-contamination and accommodate allergies. Before, Johnson could only offer menu favorites like catfish and shellfish on alternating days.
But before opening the window to eager customers, the plain white truck needs to be transformed with stainless steel equipment, plumbing, electricity, propane lines and a bright, painted exterior.
About a year ago, Johnson intended on opening a second food truck, but he encountered physical barriers that challenged his work capabilities.
“I’ve had some health issues that caused a delay,” Johnson said.
During this time, Johnson could no longer serve as chef. He trained his wife, Antoinette Johnson, who “wasn’t a cook at all,” to cook his signature dishes while he took orders.
“She’s trained herself to do it my way or better,” Johnson said. “If it wasn’t for my wife and [staff member] Leandrea Robinson, I don’t know how any of this would have been possible.”
J’s Good Grub is often stationed near Parrish Avenue and Walnut Street.
In absence of festivals this year, the food truck has traveled to neighborhoods, such as Whispering Meadows and Cedar Hills, breweries in Ohio County and local fundraisers.
Johnson credits his spirited customers for providing encouragement during the difficult time.
“Running a small, local business isn’t easy,” Johnson said. “But when you see people with smiles on their faces, you feel like you’re doing something right.”
J’s Good Grub will post updates about the launch to social media. Johnson might temporarily close the first truck until the springtime while launching the second truck.