New Family-Owned Food Truck Inspired by Massachusetts Cuisines
A new family-owned business, Food Traffik, is selling food inspired by a variety of different cultures' cuisines they experienced living in Massachusetts.
Charles Norfleet, who is the owner of Food Traffik and a Birmingham police officer, says that the food truck's name comes from his family's experience living in Worchester, Massachusetts. The name came from a play on words as they would walk down the streets.
"We always say that there's so many cultures, so many different types of people in Massachusetts that you see so much food out there," Norfleet. "You can go down Main Street, and you'll see a Jamaican restaurant on one end, a Spanish restaurant, an Indian restaurant, Asian, Cambodian, like Polish restaurants, real Italian restaurants, like we always say its food traffic."
Norfleet went into business with his mother, Leatha Jones. Jones, who is an Alabama native, also serves as the cook on the truck.
"So then [my mom] got into food service," said Norfleet. "She loves to cook [and] she was excited about it when COVID happened, we were kind of scared, because, you know, more people were passing away, it's kind of dangerous to be around a lot of people. But also, I felt like it was a good opportunity to take advantage of mobile food service so that you can establish your own identity."
"I enjoy people [and] serving them good hot, nice fresh food," Jones said.
Currently, the food truck sells food like chicken wings, Philly cheesesteaks, polish sausage, burgers, and their signature Traffik Fries.
"They're a type of loaded fry," Norfleet said. "They got all kinds of stuff on them: cheese, ranch, bacon, beef [and they're] seasoned with my mom's seasoning. I'm telling you, if you probably eat one of those, it's gonna put you to sleep."
Norfleet says that they plan to open a brick and mortar by the fall of 2022. He says that this will allow them to serve a larger variety of food.
"We want to break [the menu] up exactly how you're walking down the main street in Worcester," Norfleet said. "[We're] gonna have Spanish food, African food, Asian food and our biggest menu option is gonna be the Southern cuisine. We'll have Italian options: your pasta, stuffed meatballs or shells, and things like that. My mother makes a mean, Caribbean jerk, so that's got to be on there. You give people a wide variety of options, and they'll keep coming back trying different things."
Jones says that she would love to serve different types of food on different days when they get a restaurant.
"The food truck is lovely because I know we can go here and go there, but I sure would love to have a restaurant and have different food on different days," Jones said.
Jones also says that she wants to be able to offer healthy food options at her restaurant.
"That's one thing we like to try to be," Jones said. "Cooking everything that we cook, if we do fried food, we want to be able to give the people a choice of something healthy like baked chicken or Chicken Parmesan with Turkey in it wrapped up with cheese."
Currently, Food Traffik can be found at the old Books-a-Million parking lot on the corner of McFarland and Skyland Boulevard on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They also go to the 205 Lounge on Greensboro Avenue on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Norfleet is also working to bring the food truck to Shelton State Community College.