Writer / Michelle Kaufman

Husband and wife Willie Jimmy and Kerry Riddle took their love of food and an ambulance and created a business.

After being intrigued by the quality of food they ordered from food trucks, the two converted an ambulance into Chomp’z Food Truck. The truck first hit the road Aug. 27, 2016, and is licensed in Marion and Johnson counties.

“[Our first day] was a success and we fell in love with it,” Kerry said. “It’s hard work, but doing what you love for a living makes it all worth it.”

Chomp’z serves “fun American foods” such as burgers, pulled pork and a giant pork tenderloin sandwich. The truck is available for company lunches, private parties, and weddings, and has also served at breweries and the Marion County Fairgrounds. Willie Jimmy is the chef, while Kerry is the cashier and taste tester. Willie Jimmy’s aunt previously owned a restaurant, so a love of food runs in his family.

“The family reunion is basically who brings the best dish. He loves to cook. I love to eat. We’re a match made in heaven,” Kerry said. “Willie Jimmy knew he wanted to do a burger, and he loved his pork tenderloin. He thought maybe the world would love it too.”

Willie Jimmy has been cooking since he was 11 years old, when his mom first allowed him to touch the stove. He was nervous going into the food-truck business. While he knew his family liked his food, he wasn’t sure what others would think.

“When strangers come back and say that was an awesome sandwich, that’s just gratifying,” Willie Jimmy said. “The menu kind of changes from place to place. We kind of look at things and see what really sells.”

In the future, Chomp’z hopes to expand either into a restaurant or multiple trucks. It sometimes appears in downtown Indianapolis, but the majority of its business is booked events.

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