PInckney Food Truck Fridays see surge in vendors and participants

Brothers Alexander (center) and Jacob Kova (right) came up with the idea for their family's new food truck, Two Brothers BBQ Mac Shack, with their father John O'Brien, shown at Pinckney's food truck rally Friday, July 23, 2021.

Brighton dad and BBQ sauce creator John O’Brien found himself in a position that many have experienced during the coronavirus pandemic.

O’Brien got laid off and had to contemplate his next career move. 

He landed in the food truck industry and his sons, Alexander and Jacob Kova, wanted in. He purchased a food trailer and his sons came up with the idea to specialize in barbecue meats and mac and cheese. 

“We’re launching into a market where people are excited to get out of their house,” O’Brien said while serving the crowd at the summer Food Truck Fridays rally in Pinckney.

He said food trucks are seeing great business and have been able to function well during the pandemic by getting creative. 

With the return of festivals and other events, more opportunities are available for his business, Two Brothers BBQ Mac Shack. 

“While a lot of festivals got canceled, subdivision parties were a big thing,” O’Brien said. “You go to the people. They don’t come to you.”

Jacob Kova cooks on a grill next to his family's food truck Two Brothers BBQ Mac Shake at Pinckney's rally, Friday, July 23, 2021.

He said there are advantages to being a mobile business, because many restaurants are struggling to overcome lost revenue, high overhead and a hiring shortage. 

“A lot of businesses blame it on unemployment, but being laid off, I can tell you, I went into the food truck industry,” O’Brien said. “With industries like bartender, server, a lot of them had to take a pay cut going into other industries. Some people got back into the field they studied. With COVID, they might be going back into their field.”

His sons see the food truck as a long-term investment. 

“Me and my brother have been talking, if we take it over, this is what we would do,” Alexander Kova said. 

Barbara J. Miriam

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