Food truck capitalises on road workers coming to quake-hit Clarence

Stuff.co.nz

A food truck has launched on State Highway 1 to serve workers north of the Kaikoura slip.

The earthquake has raised seabeds, hills and now a cafe.

The township of Clarence, north of Kaikoura, has become the end of the line on the quake-hit State Highway 1 and has never before had a place to buy food - until now.

Clarence's population is about to jump by half as a temporary work camp opens next week, and Genevieve King is ready on the side of the road with baked goods and coffee.

The Clarence resident has pounced on the opportunity of extra people coming to town to launch her own food truck.

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"This is such a unique opportunity and it is right in our backyard," she said.

The Azul Food Truck team of Genevieve King and Jordy Judge.
JEFFREY KITT/FAIRFAX NZ

The Azul Food Truck team of Genevieve King and Jordy Judge.

"Sometimes a helicopter, tractor and truck will pull up all at the same time, it's pretty unique."

It had been a dream to start a food truck and the addition of workers to her hometown was an ideal opportunity, King said.

The farming community of about 80 people would increase by 40 when workers moved into temporary accommodation in the grounds of the old Woodbank School and started to tackle the slips north of Kaikoura.

The view leading to the Azul Food Truck, in Clarence.
JEFFREY KITT/FAIRFAX NZ

The view leading to the Azul Food Truck, in Clarence.

Clarence residents were desperate for the road to reopen and the addition of workers to town was a good sign, King said.

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"It's frustrating to not see anything happening. Not that there isn't anything happening, but we just can't see it past the slip," she said.

"It's really nice to meet the workers and see the road become a hive of activity."

Genevieve King, Jordy Judge and their dog Tah, 8, are ready and waiting to serve on the side of State Highway 1, in Clarence.
JEFFREY KITT/FAIRFAX NZ

Genevieve King, Jordy Judge and their dog Tah, 8, are ready and waiting to serve on the side of State Highway 1, in Clarence.

Clarence had never had a cafe and the food truck had become a sort of community hub for people to congregate, King said.

King described the Azul Food Truck's menu as "Kiwi-fusion", using local products such as venison, avocado, lemon and more.

"As much as we can, it will come from the valley, which we think is important," she said.

A road worker grabs a pie and filter coffee from the Azul Food Truck on State Highway 1, Clarence.
JEFFREY KITT/FAIRFAX NZ

A road worker grabs a pie and filter coffee from the Azul Food Truck on State Highway 1, Clarence.

"This is such a cool opportunity."

Assisted by Jordy Judge, the business would allow customers to text their order ahead and pay with Eftpos.

The pair would soon be very busy as they had also earned the catering contract to supply the temporary accommodation with breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The menu, which King says will change and vary with produce.
JEFFREY KITT/FAIRFAX NZ

The menu, which King says will change and vary with produce.

They hoped rubberneckers who were inspecting the quake-damaged countryside also made the most of the food on offer, King said.

The food truck would likely serve tourist hot spots in years to come and reshape its menu for festivals, she said.
The food truck's venison sandwich with sweet potato chips.
JEFFREY KITT/FAIRFAX NZ

The food truck's venison sandwich with sweet potato chips.

 - The Marlborough Express

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