EVERYONE LIKES FOOD. WE NEED TO EAT TO LIVE. BUT HOW MANY OF US LIVE TO EAT? MEET SALLY VUJICA, WHO IS POSSIBLY TOWNSVILLE’S MOST PASSIONATE FOODIE.
Sally is the owner-operator of The Feel Good Foodie, a globally-inspired local food truck serving gluten-free morsels of healthy and delicious street food.
Townsville born and bred, Sally learned the values of hard work and the art of customer service early on in life, spending time working in her family’s newsagencies. But it begs the question; where did her passion for food ensue from selling newspapers and lotto tickets?
“Unfortunately, we lost our beautiful mum when I was 17, which is a big reason I launched into business almost straight from school,” Sally revealed.
“When Mum was sick, that is where I started researching food and all things cooking. I used to take cookbooks to the hospital each day and just read and read and read. I loved my Mum’s cooking along with my two Grandmothers, one Slovenian – European inspired home cooking and one Australian. Sunday roasts and sponge cakes…all of them full of love and force feeding.”
But it wasn’t until Sally attended a rodeo event with food-truck catering that the idea for her current business venture came about. Then, after watching the 2014 movie Chef, she had a lightbulb moment. Why not bring the food truck experience to Townsville? She knew it was going to be hard work, but as the saying goes, hard work pays off. Right?
“There are only so many sausages on bread and steak burgers one can eat in a weekend and I thought there must be a better way to bring good quality, healthy food to the people of Queensland,” Sally said.
“I did a lot of research with our local council, went to lots of food events, planned my menu and even did some voluntary work experience in the Gold Coast, where the industry is going gang busters.
“When I started in Townsville the food truck scene was barely kicking off. In a mere 18 months of trading it seems to have really exploded!”
Sally’s decision to focus her business model on the provision of gluten free food as a point of difference appears to have paid off with sales increasing by 22% in her second year of business.
Sally credits this feat to the efforts of the team behind the truck.
“I’m very happy with our team’s hard work this year; now we have a great production line and our speed and quality of service is something I am really proud of” Sally beams.
Despite the growth of the industry locally, Sally believes there is still much more that can be done to make the local food truck network thrive.
Constantly in contact with local government members pushing for opportunities for herself and her fellow food truckers, Sally’s aim is for the Townsville City Council to come to terms on clear legislation which will afford vendors access to areas with higher levels of foot traffic. Ultimately, she’d like to see designated parking spots for food trucks to set up around the city, similar to the food truck parks of the United States.
“To me, business attracts business and we need to stay positive and work hard to ensure a positive and strong economy in Townsville,” Sally said.
“This is my home and where I grew up, I love it, I want to see it thrive. We’ve just recruited some newbies and will be recruiting again in the new year as we will be taking our business in a slightly new direction…stay tuned.”