At Jimdo we love food and have a soft spot for mobile food trucks. When Heather Thompson Carvalho, one of the owners of The Rendezvous: A Love Affair With Local Grown Food, came through our support help desk with a few questions, we immediately knew we had to find out more about her business. Just look at that wicked truck! Here is a small part of their story.
Tell us about The Rendezvous. Where does the name come from?
The Rendezvous is a food truck on the Big Island of Hawaii, fused with aloha, or love and respect, in all aspects of what we do. We are a love affair with local grown food. We pride ourselves in bringing a delicious, health conscious and locally sourced dining option to the people in our community who care about nurturing themselves with quality food and supporting our local farmers. We have vegan and vegetarian options, but are also very meat driven, so there’s something for everyone on our menu.
We chose The Rendezvous for our business name for several reasons… one is because it literally means ‘a place of popular resort’ or ‘a poplar gathering place.” Because we’re mobile, we thought it would be a fun way to allude to the idea that wherever we are, you’ll want to be there, that our place is the place. We also wanted to encourage the idea of planning ahead to gather with friends at our place, to let us be the rendezvous point to see the people you love. Then there’s also the romantic aspect of it, the secret love affair, that our ‘love affair with local grown food’ ties in so well with.
What's been the most challenging part of opening your own business?
Let me tell you, none of this has been easy! I think the most challenging part has been taking that initial first step from deciding to no longer be someone else’s employee, but to be your own employer. It’s not an easy step. The comfort of a dependable income, set hours and a job description are things we take for granted when someone else is our boss. When you do this on your own, there are no guarantees. Success is not sure. The future is unknown, and is determined solely by your ambition, integrity and hard work. And a good business plan!
Are you the first mobile food truck in the region?
The Rendezvous is our island’s first attempt in the modern food truck movement. We’re a bit behind the times here on the Big Island, being that all our nations’ big cities have food trucks in every cuisine around every corner, including our neighboring Honolulu. However, part of the reason we all love living here is because of the island’s pace, so there’s no complaining there! We are hoping to make a scene, spark some interest, and quickly see other food trucks out and about with us.
Where does your love affair with local grown food stem from? What benefits does it bring to your customers and the community?
We believe that eating local is eating healthy. Not only in nurturing your body, by supporting it with a healthy and delicious option, or in feeding your mind by eating nourishing food, but also in creating a strong dependency on our community. Because we live on an island, our sense of community differs from other places. It’s simple… we need each other to get by. We choose to support our local farmers, who supply us with beautiful and fresh products, instead of purchasing ingredients that come from far away, and reach our tables after they’re already weeks old.
The Rendezvous donates it's profits once a month, which is fantastic! What's the most fulfilling part?
The Rendezvous has a big heart for our local community. On the first Friday of every month, proceeds go toward our charity of the month. We have both asked or customers for suggestions and have personally brought charities, organizations, or families that need our help to the drawing board. We enjoy being able to help in whatever little ways we can. Another beautiful thing about this is that it helps raise awareness in our community, to remind everyone that they should be doing what they can for the better of our community.
As a small business owner, how important do you think having a website is?
We live in an era where the phonebook is quickly becoming obsolete. People don’t ask for your phone number anymore, they ask if you have a website. They want an idea of what you’re about at a glance to see if it’s something they’re interested in investing their time in. With our website, people know how to find us, what they’re looking for, and what we have to offer. They get to see our level of heart and professionalism without ever having experienced us in person. After all, if our website doesn’t look appealing, why would anyone want to try our food?
Anything else you'd like to share with Jimdo readers?
Life is all about taking risks. We as humans are too quickly creatures of comfort, and fall into a routine because it’s easy, we know what to expect. Too often people do not follow their dreams because it’s not easy. The only reason The Rendezvous is here is because six kids decided to take a risk. And it’s been challenging, but endlessly rewarding. Good luck to our fellow risk takers!
Thanks to Heather and The Rendezvous for giving us a glimpse into life on Paradise Island. Remember to step out your comfort zone Jimdo readers, great things happen when you do! Aloha!
Photos by Charla Photography.
Ana R. Alvarado
Would you like to be in our next Jimdo User Spotlight? Leave us a note in the comments!