SEQUIM – The husband-and-wife team, Caleb and Charmaine Messinger, who run the Southern Nibble, said they hope to help potential future mobile business owners navigate the bureaucratic process.
The food cart specializing in South Carolina Lowcountry foods opened in January in the Sequim area.
The Messingers, who emphasized that getting to this point was not an easy process, said they should open it without all the proper paperwork to get the attention of those who need to get involved.
They brought a truck from Miami to Sequim, handled the city’s requirements (codepublishing.com/WA/Sequim/html/Sequim18/Sequim1865.html) and started the process with L&I. [Labor & Industries] In July 2021.
“We were number eight,” Caleb said. “For mobile units, there was one plan reviewer working in the entire state of Washington” and that person had been out of the office for several weeks.
They said the Messingers constantly reached out to everyone who could be involved, and were mostly ignored until they opened their doors without completing official steps in December.
Messengers said they were immediately handed over by an unknown person and the process finally began.
Messingers said the inspection of the Southern Nibble by the county health department was one of the final, most efficient and helpful steps.
“They are the reason we encourage and act; they wanted to help us — through the book,” Caleb said.
“I just don’t want this operation [becoming a mobile food service vendor] Being too hard on others.” “We want to be defensive… It shouldn’t be that hard. Let’s change a few things for everyone.
“If everyone prospered, our society would prosper even more.”
The food truck now operates normally from noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays and from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every other Thursday at its prime location at John Wayne’s Waterfront Resort, 2634 W. Sequim Bay Road. On another Thursday, you can find it at R. Corner Grocery, 256421 US Highway 101.
Sometimes they do dining at Hanger 19, 2506 W. 19th St. At Port Angeles, festival or other events. The best way to keep an eye on their schedule and menu variations is to check online at facebook.com/Southern-Nibble-110304091449486.
Charmaine said the food is “directly inspired by where we grew up,” referring to Beaufort, South Carolina, where the two met in high school. Both worked in restaurants until moving with Caleb’s grandparents to the Olympic Peninsula six years ago.
“We just wanted to bring the Lowcountry to the North,” Caleb said.
Southern Nibble serves a variety of dishes in eco-friendly containers. Except for the fries and canned and bottled drinks, everything is made from starters with freshly purchased ingredients, from the candied pecans and citrus vinegar in The Fancy Salad to the pulled pork that takes 12-14 hours of slow roasting.
Some menu items are rotated, but there are always sliders and a shrimp platter.
“The shrimp burger originated in Beaufort, and the shrimp and grits originated in the Low Country,” Charmaine said.
With her uncle, the shrimp boat captain, Charmaine said she knows a lot about shrimp.
Running their own food truck has been a dream Messingers have worked on since working at the restaurants in Beaufort that inspired their menu. They said the process was long and difficult, including saving over six years for seed capital.
Now they work together to buy and prepare food, home school their children and work in the home they share with Caleb’s grandparents. They cook and serve three or more days a week that the food truck is open for business.
In addition, Caleb is active in coaching youth in sports.
“Sports is our way to help kids,” said Caleb, who was a high school athlete.
For more information see facebook.com/Southern-Nibble-110304091449486 or call 360-460-2436.
Emily Matthiesen is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which consists of the Sound Publishing newspapers, the Peninsula Daily News, the Squim Gazette and the FOREX. You can reach her at email@example.com.