The bleak days of winter and lack of up-Island eating options will shine a bit brighter with the arrival of a mobile food truck in Chilmark.
Josh Aronie, chef at Cafe Moxie in Vineyard Haven and formerly of the Menemsha Cafe, will operate a food truck at the Chilmark Store in the off-season. Mr. Aronie received approval for the venture at the Chilmark selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday, pending board of health approval.
“It’s just off-seasonal,” Mr. Aronie said. “The exact opposite of what everyone else does kind of business.”
The food truck will help serve the up-Island tradesman, office workers and town residents, Mr. Aronie said, adding that it will be called The Food Truck.
Mr. Aronie said he plans to serve four or five items a day and refreshments, including daily soup, tacos, sandwiches, falafels and a Brazilian lunch plate. He will use an offsite commercial kitchen as a home base. The truck will be open from Nov. 15 through April 15, Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Chilmark Store is traditionally open from the beginning of May through Columbus Day weekend.
“I don’t want to interfere with the other people who are doing business in town, so as they start opening up in the spring . . . my plan is to be back in Vineyard Haven [at Cafe Moxie],” Mr. Aronie said.
Selectman Bill Rossi asked that Mr. Aronie commit to not serving seafood given that Menemsha Fish Market is still open for lunch. Mr. Aronie said he spoke with Stanley Larsen, the owner, and assured him that he would stay away from chowder and similar dishes.
“I told him I won’t serve any of the stuff you’re serving and I would try to be in touch,” Mr. Aronie said.
Mr. Aronie will operate the business out of the Irie Bites food truck, a Jamaican-themed truck owned by Peter Simon and Melody Cunningham. The truck has a generator to run the electric, propane and water.
Chilmark selectmen have been historically opposed to food trucks in town, with the exception of special events. But with the lack of options in the off-season, the selectmen were enthusiastic about the proposal.
“I think it’s a great service and a great thing,” Mr. Rossi said. “The off-season is the overriding factor here.”
The vote was unanimous.
“When are you opening?” the selectmen asked in unison after taking the vote.
“As soon as I can,” Mr. Aronie said.