The smoky smell of pulled pork sandwiches prepared with practiced hands creates a delicious aroma around the small blue food truck. The co-owner of this tasty operation is one of Union’s own chefs. During the day, Marcus McKinney works in Brewer Dining Hall, but he spends his nights working at his food truck, Blue Box Eatery.
McKinney’s business partner, John Brown, works the day shift, but once he gets done working at Union for the day, McKinney heads over to work the night shift.
The truck is open 60 hours a week, so McKinney is constantly working to ensure its success. While it’s not always easy, his motivation to honor his wife through his work is meaningful. McKinney’s wife passed away six years ago, and the couple always dreamed of starting their own business.
“We always talked about doing something like this, but we never could,” he said. “I told myself I would fulfill our dream of having a restaurant once I was financially able to do it.”
McKinney has been in business for the past six months, and has done incredibly well so far. Many businesses fail to make a profit in the first year due to the start up costs, yet McKinney and his partner have already turned a profit, all without heavy advertising.
“I’ve been giving cards and flyers and had some word of mouth advertising, but I haven’t done a ton of promotion because we want to make sure we can walk before we can run,” McKinney said. “We wanted to ensure we could handle the daily operations before we handled large groups of customers”
Some of the big menu items are pulled pork, jerk wings, loaded fries and catfish. McKinney said his personal favorite dish is the loaded nachos. Blue Box Eatery is located at 1331 North Highland next to Walgreen’s and is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.