Owners: Terrence & Haajar Collins
For husband-and-wife team Terrence and Haajar Collins, opening a food truck was both a learning experience and a labor of love. “We were married in Jamaica and had visited there a few times over the years,” Haajar shares. “We wanted to bring flavors that we love and that reminded us of both our Southern and South Floridian upbringings, while also filling a gap of what was missing in Chattanooga.”
The process of getting their bearings was long and arduous as they took the time to educate themselves and source the parts they would need to run the truck, but according to Collins, “Determination and great imagination got us rolling and serving some of the city’s favorite foods.”
The Collins’ truck, Fud Vybez, serves up a Southern-Caribbean fusion menu. “These cuisines are what spoke to us most deeply,” says Haajar. On the menu, you can find Caribbean-inspired dishes like oxtail, curry shrimp, jerk chicken, and sweet plantains, as well as classic offerings such as cheeseburgers, fried fish sandwiches, and macaroni and cheese. The truck also features items that are an exciting blend of the two, such as jerk chicken nachos or wings tossed in Jamaican heat sauce.
Another important part of the menu concept is the “vibe” – hence the food truck’s name. “It’s about the feeling you get when the food is so good you want to dance,” says Haajar.
One of the biggest challenges the pair has faced is outsourcing and acquiring authentic Caribbean ingredients. “It can be tough to keep up with demand,” Haajar explains. However, they enjoy the ability to go out into the community, and running a business that represents who they are is incredibly valuable to them. “We want to give our children something to look up to by showing them a good example of black entrepreneurship,” Haajar shares. This, along with all the new experiences that have come with running the truck, makes the challenges worth it to them.
Terrence and Haajar are also thankful for the opportunity to grow their business here in Chattanooga. “We love working festivals here. The opportunity for more family engagement that this provides is something we value a lot,” says Haajar. “This is a beautiful city to be an entrepreneur in, and the support has been awesome.”
“We want to give our children something to look up to by showing them a good example of black entrepreneurship.”