Augusta, GA: Couple Plans to Introduce Food Truck

Emily Rose Bennett Emily Rose Bennett\Staff Enrique Romero, 49, and his wife Carole, 48, of Augusta are the owners of the soon-to-be open mobile restaurant known as The Brown Bag. Romero, who has a background in restaurant management, said he plans to serve southern comfort food with a twist.

By LaTina Emerson | The Augusta Chronicle

Emily Rose Bennett Emily Rose Bennett\Staff Enrique Romero, 49, and his wife Carole, 48, of Augusta are the owners of the soon-to-be open mobile restaurant known as The Brown Bag. Romero, who has a background in restaurant management, said he plans to serve southern comfort food with a twist.

An Augusta husband and wife team will try to introduce a food truck into the Augusta market in early 2012.

The Brown Bag, a food truck co-owned by Carole and Enrique Romero, is a 26-foot, brown, yellow and orange truck whose trademark is a dog smoking a cigar, which was inspired by a photo the owners took of their dog years ago.

“We’re introducing this in a market that is untested at this point,” Carole Romero said.

Enrique Romero decided to pursue a food truck business when he was laid off five months ago. With 10 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, he will prepare the food. They will hire two additional workers.

“Our five year plan is to have six or eight of these trucks on the road between Columbia, Athens and doing special events in the Southeast,” he said.

Carole Romero, a police officer during the day, will bake desserts.

They are working to gain final approval to operate the truck because Georgia’s regulations require food trucks to have a kitchen in a separate building. The Brown Bag’s kitchen is located on the truck.

“It’s been tough. We’re trying to work it out with our home counties,” Carole Romero said.

The Brown Bag’s menu will range from hot dogs and beef or chicken sliders to macaroni and cheese, sweet potato fries, crawfish monica and crab cake, pork or scallop sliders. Prices will range from $6 to $11.

The Romeros will offer catering and plan to partner with local hospitals to serve employees working the night shift. They will also provide movie nights for local churches.

The Romeros said the food truck phenomenon began during the recession, when many restaurants were forced out of business. Some chefs decided to sell their food from mobile trucks.

There are more than 40 food trucks in Atlanta. The trend is also popular in south Florida, New York, Chicago and major cities in Texas, they said.

http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/business/2011-12-27/augusta-couple-plans-introduce-food-truck