New Charlotte food truck has Southern, Caribbean, Creole, Spanish and African fusion.

Ebony L. Morman
·3 min read

It’s safe to say that food trucks have taken over the Queen City, and Charlotte loves it. One of the best aspects of the food truck scene is that it offers a wealth of diversity. It’s about to get yet another dose of culture, however.

G.R.I.T.S. CLT — a private chef and catering company — is putting the finishing touches on its food truck. The new food truck will start rolling throughout Charlotte at the end of April, serving up a menu that is sure to satisfy a variety of cravings.

G.R.I.T.S. — an acronym meaning Girls Raised In The South — has not one but five menus that allow you to mix and match according to your individual desires, chef and owner Jorieka Downey said. The menus — Southern Girl, Caribbean Girl, Nola Girl, South of the Border Girl and the International African Girl — consist of Southern, Caribbean, Creole, Spanish and African cuisines.

“Each menu has that cuisine from that part of the world, and we just fuse it,” she said. “It’s really just a fusion of all of those flavors I like.”

Mix and match menu

On the food truck, the customers will be the creators, with the ability to mix and match. Menu items include chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, jerk chicken tacos, jumbo turkey legs and a variety of signature dishes like lemon pepper collard greens.

“If you’re in the mood for southern meat and Nola girl sides, you can kind of create a multicultural spread for any type of occasion,” Downey said.

The grand opening for G.R.I.T.S CLT is scheduled for the end of April.
The grand opening for G.R.I.T.S CLT is scheduled for the end of April.

Just before the coronavirus pandemic, the new catering service thrived, serving daily lunch deliveries and catering orders to a number of local small businesses uptown and on the west side.

During COVID-19, Downey — also known as Chef Jo — took some time to educate herself about the restaurant industry from a business perspective. The private chef service was added following North Carolina’s re-opening process as she prioritized safety and remaining relevant.

G.R.I.T.S CLT previously served lunch deliveries to clients in uptown and West Charlotte.
G.R.I.T.S CLT previously served lunch deliveries to clients in uptown and West Charlotte.

Now, she’s returning, and she’s excited about the new adventure. Getting back in the mix, meeting new people and growing the brand are among her goals.

“I miss being in the kitchen every day,” she said. “So, I’m trying to get back out there now. I’m just looking forward to being able to pull up in my nice, brand new, pretty trailer to the events I’ve been doing.”

G.R.I.T.S. CLT is looking to expand its reach beyond uptown and West Charlotte to areas like Ballantyne and South Boulevard. Downey is currently scouting new locations.

The grand opening is not just about the food, It’s also about highlighting local small businesses and building community.

Chef Jorieka Downey learned cooking skills from being in the kitchen with her godparents and aunts as a child.
Chef Jorieka Downey learned cooking skills from being in the kitchen with her godparents and aunts as a child.

“The opening is going to be a day party,” Downey said. “It will be a collaboration with other Black-owned businesses and vendors. So, people can eat, buy and shop the whole day.”

Editor’s note: We’ll update this story when the details are revealed with more information about the grand opening.

G.R.I.T.S. CLT

Location varies

Instagram: @g.r.i.t.s_clt

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