Ash Lenick at the take out window of his customized food truck. He can be found at the Sooke Region Museum on Thursday evenings

Food trucks fulfills dream

Food trucks are becoming increasingly popular on Vancouver Island

Fine dining choices are once again expanding in Sooke.

Added to the growing repertoire of dinner choices is a food truck that has set up a permanent location at the East Sooke General Store. The Traveling Smoke Show is a highly customized food truck that serves up “smoked fare.” Delectable tidbits include pulled pork  and porchetta sandwiches, chicken fingers, and even a vegetarian option called the Tree Hugger.

Owner and operator Ash Lenick promises a menu that will continually add new items. Lenick likes food, and he likes to experiment. It’s a good combination, a combination that has produced the original Salami Fries.

The food truck is fulfilling a dream for Lenick. “This is a prototype,” he says of his truck. Ultimately, he would like to have a fleet of food trucks serving different types of food.

He, like many other local fine food establishments in Sooke, has a vision of promoting local. As much as possible, Lenick is interested in sourcing food from local growers.  He encourages local food providers to get in touch him.

Only a few weeks in operation this year, Lenick has already landed opportunities at the Night Market and the Bluegrass festival in Sooke. Receiving mentorship from existing businesses has contributed to Lenick’s explosion into the food scene. He also has a business plan to guide him. That, and he’s got an ear to the ground, approaching his business ideas with an open mind.

“I always listen to what people have to say,” he said. It’s not about what he likes, it’s what the community likes.

“Supporting local community and sticking together” is core to Lenick’s business philosophy, as is “sourcing out locally. I’m not a fan of using big conglomerate companies,” he said.

Ultimately, he’s in this business so that he can wake up happy knowing he has gainfully contributed in a meaningful way to the community in which he lives.

“I’ve always had that dream, to have my own business and to be successful with it. I don’t think money is my initial goal,” he explained. “It’s more about being happy and (having) a good quality of life. That’s why I’m here,” he says, referencing East Sooke.

The Traveling Smoke Show truck is ready to serve its smoked fare from Tuesdays to Saturdays at the General Store in East Sooke from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Dave Bigelow, owner of the General Store, was happy to let Lenick set up his truck at his parking lot. Bigalow said he shared Lenick’s business philosophy of “small businesses helping small businesses.”

On Thursday evenings they can be found at Sooke’s new Night Market at the museum, and on Sunday you’ll have to travel as far as Victoria where they set up shop at Bastion Square.

Mondays are his one day of rest. And that’s when he’s on the phone connecting with his suppliers.

For more information visit: travelingsmokeshow.com/