JOPLIN, Mo. — “Clark’s Cuisine on the Scene and we ain’t trying to be mean. And we were like it just stuck and so we’re like hey we’re rolling up, we’re serving good food so it’s Clark’s Cuisine on the Scene.”
Chef Mike’s 26-foot food truck has been on the scene for about 2 years, but he says, it’s been a journey.
“I’ve been on this journey now for about 6 years, but I was previously working down in Neosho as a behavior coordinator, I was on track to be a special education teacher.”
He loved working with children, but little did he know he’d find the missing pieces to his family.
“And so that was also my passion and then a little bit later we get these kiddos, which are our heart now, they were our hear then, we knew at first sight, but we strongly felt the Lord say ‘hey, you need to adopt these kiddos;’ at the time we were just fostering.”
Working full-time and juggling the adoption process became difficult.
“So my wife said, ‘Well what do you want to do?’ and I said, “Well, I kind of want to get back into cooking.”
So he stepped back into the kitchen.
“And so we moved forward with Finn’s and then 6 months later the food truck came along and so here we’re standing in the 26-foot food truck. It’s a dream come true. A passion of mine and then it’s just been one thing after another since then. Haven’t looked back.”
He says it’s passion that gets him up every morning.
“My family, wanting to provide a better life and a better way, coming a background of poverty.”
Chef Mike says coming from a home with a single mother with six kids, sometimes putting meals on the table was a struggle. But now he’s just happy that he can put meals on the tables of others.
“It’s just my passion and why I exist. I love people, I love food and you put the two together and you get Chef Mike.”
And Chef Mike says he’s always thrilled when people come back for seconds:
“When people come back for seconds, it just means hey they really enjoyed it and we get a lot of people that come back for seconds and thirds and fourths. Whenever you know that you get that guest back, I call them guests because you know they’re more than just customers, but when you get that guest back for the second time and you remember their name, you remember their order and you build that relationship, back for seconds is like oh there’s something more to talk about here. You went from a acquaintances to starting to build a relationship so when you see people come back around, it’s special.”