The Scotch Bonnet Food Truck, owned by Bethany Gregory, had its first official day on Wednesday, offering up jerk chicken, oxtail, saltfish fritters and other Jamaican treats for both lunch and dinner. It will be open Wednesday and Thursday this week, with future hours posted on social media and on the truck’s website.
Gregory, who over the winter announced she would open a store and food truck at 2354 Broadway in Bangor, initially hoped to have both the food truck and The Maine Market, her store, open by July. But difficulties in finding contractors, obtaining necessary permits from the city and the unexpected need to have the property rezoned pushed the opening date for the store itself into the fall.
Thankfully, Gregory said, she was able to get the food truck up and running — despite another setback, when the custom-made meat smoker she purchased for the truck was stolen out of her driveway over the Fourth of July weekend. An Ellsworth-based barbecue caterer has let her borrow one of his smokers until she’s able to purchase a new one.
While the food truck is operational, Gregory is busy renovating the building at 2354 Broadway, which formerly housed the Six Mile Falls store, a longtime convenience store near the Bangor-Glenburn town line that closed in 2019. Gregory moved to Bangor over the winter, after years operating a lunch cafe in busy Provincetown, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod.
At the Maine Market, she plans to offer a cafe, coffee bar and local foods market, with grab-and-go food items, local meat and produce and a small sit-down area. She will continue to offer a gas station at the store, as well as electric car charging stations.
“One of the things I love about Maine is how people love to support small businesses and local farms, so I really want to highlight that here,” Gregory said in February.
Gregory, who has worked in the restaurant and catering industry for decades, has a special affinity for Jamaican cuisine, with Jamaicans in her family, and having worked with Jamaican chefs and kitchen staff for many years. In addition to globally recognizable dishes like jerk chicken, she’ll also offer Jamaican specialties like brown stew chicken, saltfish fritters, oxtail, curried goat, festival (a classic Jamaican fried dumpling) and soursop smoothies, made with the flavorful tropical fruit.
As a lover of many global cuisines, Gregory eventually wants to try other styles as food trucks, including Mediterranean cuisine. But Jamaican food came first — and once her grand plan for 2354 Broadway is fully up and running, she hopes to give the Scotch Bonnet truck to another chef, so they can have their own business.
“Most of my extended family are Jamaican immigrants and my heart belongs to a very special one,” she said. “Eventually once the store and venue are set up the truck will be gifted to someone who deserves the chance to own their own thing after years of working for others.”