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Last updated May 30, 2024

Upcoming events

TAPROOM 260 presents the Terence O'Brian live from 8-11 pm. Located on Centrum Blvd. in the Orléans Town Centre. For more information visit https://taproom260.com/events/.

ORLEANS CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL – This popular outdoor festival goes on rain or shine! We’ve got you covered with large tents that span most of the festival grounds including the beer gardens and eating area. It’s a good, old fashioned east end street party with all the best local taps and apps under the big tent!Two sessions 11-4 pm and 5-11 pm. Tickets https://orleansfestivals.ca/tickets/

CUMBERLAND FARMERS MARKET from 9 am to 1 pm at the Cumberland Arena, 1115 Dunning Rd. in Cumberland Village. Farmers, bakers, artists, crafters, gardeners, chefs and friends. For more information facebook.com/cumberland.f.market.

THE ORIGINAL NAVAN MARKET NIGHT MARKET from 4-9 pm at the Navan Fairgrounds, 1279 Colonial Road in Navan. Over 100 vendors in attendance. For more information facebook.com/OriginalNavanMarket.

THE ORLEANS BREWING CO. presents Stuart Hoopfer live from 8-11 pm. $5 cover. The Orléans Brewing Co. is located at 4380 Innes Rd. near the McDonalds. For more information visit https://orleansbrewing.com.




St. Joseph food truck specializes in gluten-free options
Fred Sherwin
June 4, 2024

It’s been four years since three Carine Wilson graduates got together to launch a food truck in the middle of the pandemic with little more than a hope and a prayer.

None of them had any experience oper-ating a business of their own, but they did have youthful exuberance on their side and a wonderful location on St. Joseph Blvd. next to the Gabriels Pizza Plaza. They also had a terrific mentor who helped them find a truck and gave them plenty of advice.

Although Owen O’Donnell, Kitana Samson, and Meagan Mackenzie all went to Cairine Wilson at about the same time they all hung out with different crowds. It wasn’t until after they graduated that Owen and Kitana started dating each other. That’s also when Meagan entered the picture as they began hanging out in the same social circle.

(L to r) Kitana Samson, Owen O’Donnell and Meagan Mackenzie are the proud owners of the T.F.T. food truck on St. Joseph Blvd.. FRED SHERWIN PHOTO

At the time, Kitana was also working at the Upper Deck food truck which was a double-decker bus located on Innes Road.

Owen and Kitana first began thinking about operating their own food truck before the pandemic began, but when they looked into the financial implications of buying a truck and making it operational, they realized it would be impossible without a partner. At about the same time, Meagan was looking for a summer job. After talking it over, the three friends decided to pool their resources and go into business together.

Rather than buy their own food truck, the owner of the Double Deck bought one and agreed to lease it back to them on a rent-to-own basis. They also had to put in a lot of sweat equity. The food truck hadn’t been used in a while and was in pretty bad condition.

It took the three friends five months to whip the truck into shape and give it a new paint job. “It was well worth it, but it was brutal at the time,” says Samson.

The hardest part in getting the business off the ground was coming up with a name. After throwing around a bunch of ideas, they settled on That Food Truck, “because we are THAT food truck. We cover it all,” explains Samson.

The next big decision was to make sure everything on the menu had a gluten-free option. They also have a number of vegan options as well.

“From the get go, we wanted our whole menu to have the option of gluten-free,” says Samson. “Meagan and I had both worked in a dual kitchen before, so we knew how to do it already and we knew there was a need in the community.”

They eventually opened for business in April 2020, smack dab in the middle of the pandemic, which proved to be a blessing in disguise not only for them, but for food trucks across the city. During the pandemic, traditional sit-down restaurants were only able to offer take-out, which leveled the playing field for everyone.

In fact, business was so good during the pandemic, the trio was able to pay off the lease on the truck after just two seasons. Since then, business has been steady as the truck now has a huge following including customers who are looking for a gluten-free option they can trust.

In the future, the trio hopes to buy a trailer so they can start catering events. For now, they love what they do and they love doing it together. You can find them on Facebook at facebook.com/T.F.T.That.Food.Truck.



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