Rolling Forward With A New Recipe For Success

By Greg Olson Jacksonville Journal-Courier, Ill.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Food entrepreneur Nicole Riley is hitting the highways this summer to build her brand and connect with the community.

Jacksonville Journal-Courier, Ill.

A downtown Jacksonville entrepreneur is venturing into the mobile food business.

Nicole Riley, owner and operator of The Soap Co. Coffee House at 66 E. Central Park, has bought a 1969 Shasta camper that was converted into a food trailer. She dubbed it The Honeycomb Grill.

"A few years ago, I bought a 1952 Dodge Power Wagon with the intention of converting it into a coffee truck," Riley said, "but after learning about certain health code regulations I would have to follow, I decided not to make the necessary alterations to the vehicle. I wanted to keep the truck original."

The new food trailer, which was rolled out for the first time Friday, will be used to serve a variety of food and beverages. Riley has spent about a month doing some light remodeling and painting to The Honeycomb Grill to get it ready.

"My kitchen at Soap Co. is rather small and it limits our menu options," Riley said. "The trailer will give me an opportunity to have some fun with a variety of food and allow me to go mobile."

At first, Riley plans to serve sandwiches, some baked goods, tacos, iced coffee and lemonade.

"Our tacos, which we serve during First Fridays, have been really popular with our customers, and I definitely want to offer them from the food trailer," she said.

Riley said she hopes to have The Honeycomb Grill open to the public three or four times a month in Jacksonville and possibly in a few surrounding towns.

"I've been wanting to own a food truck for a while to give me some creative freedom with my menu choices and to mix up my surroundings," she said. "I want to keep my business fresh and new."

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