Owner and Chief Blender of Smoothe Operator, Adam Jackson, was first inspired to open his own food truck during a hungover morning at one of New Zealand's largest music festivals.
While walking around the festival, Jackson noticed that the only beverage offerings were pricey cups of coffee and L&P. Craving something more refreshing and healthy, he left feeling inspired to start his own smoothie and juice food truck.
Opening in 2022, Smoothe Operator serves cocktail-inspired smoothies and juices. Jackson's first real creation was the "Ave 'a Colada", a pineapple, banana and coconut smoothie that captured the flavours of the classic Pina Colada cocktail.
Since then, he has created other smoothies modelled off other popular cocktails, including the "Daiq to the Future", a strawberry and guava smoothie inspired by a strawberry daiquiri, and the "Espresso Smoothtini", a morning pick-me-up blend of cold brew coffee, almond butter, banana, maple syrup and dates.
Jackson is currently expanding Smoothe Operator's menu to include breakfast food items. This year he has introduced french toast breakfast sticks, which come with sweet and savoury fillings like crispy bacon and colby jack cheese, or almond butter and strawberry jam.
After undertaking a couple of evening pop-up events, Jackson has also begun adding shots into his smoothies, turning Smoothe Operator's drinks from cocktail-inspired to full-blown cocktails.
The biggest challenge facing Jackson is encouraging people to venture out and attend events.
"The post-Covid world is an interesting one. It has created a reason for folks not to venture out as much. Street food is one of the greatest things we can share right now and people like the Food Truck Collective are doing an awesome job of keeping this going. We just need Kiwis to get out there and see all we have to offer," noted Jackson.
Operating at Britomart Market every Saturday morning, he hopes to continue to develop and grow the Smoothe Operator brand by operating at more festivals and events over the summer and spring seasons. Plans for exciting product development are currently underway, which will be revealed later during the year.
Jackson's top tip for those interested in opening a food truck is to find your point of difference.
"Don't be afraid to stand out and offer something new. It will be a slow burn, but it's worth it in the end."