Section: Features

Gambier farmers open new, locally-sourced barbecue joint

Gambier farmers open new, locally-sourced barbecue joint

Photo by Justin Sun

The newly-opened Local Smoke barbeque food truck is bringing more local Knox County food to the table. Local Smoke stemmed from co-owners and brothers Max and Hans Farmer’s desire for a food establishment in their area that focused on local and organic ingredients. The food truck, which opened just over a month ago, uses ingredients from the Mount Vernon farmer’s market as well as nearby non-GMO farms like Hilltop Organics and Highland Natural.

Before opening Local Smoke, the two brothers worked on their family farm near Gambier and refused to dine out due to a lack of healthy options nearby.

“We wanted a place for people who were like-minded,” Max said. “People who were interested in mom-and-pop, non-GMO, scratch recipes. It’s higher standards.”

The brothers love to cook, and so they decided to open up their own place. They found a food truck for sale online and were quickly able to get their business up and running.

The truck currently specializes in pulled pork sandwiches and smoked wings and sells a tomato pesto grilled cheese for vegetarians. Local Smoke also offers daily specials, which the brothers plan to keep updated on their nascent Facebook page (@LocalSmokeMTV).

“This is all stuff that we eat,” Max said. “And we’re picky.”

Isa Mojares ’20 and Rose Bialer ’20 found the food delicious. “The grilled cheese with pesto was a great vegetarian option with probably one of the best tomatoes I’ve ever had,” Mojares said.  “The chefs were very friendly and really cared about the ingredients,” Bialer added.

The business has been off to a humble but strong start. “We haven’t been advertising much,” Max said, “but word of mouth is working well.”

The brothers do not have any grand plans for the truck at the moment, but Max said the menu may expand to offer more meats. He hopes to add a beef item in the future, but the brothers are making sure they first find a source they approve of: The ingredients have to be organic and local, Hans said.

As the seasons change and temperatures lower, the brothers hope to keep on serving food out of their truck. “As long as people are willing to wait in the cold,” Hans said.

Local Smoke is stationed in Mount Vernon at 209 South Gay Street. The truck is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Monday.

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