It all started with a dream.
Now a pair of high school sweethearts are hoping Dayton falls in love with their jerk chicken-infused menu.
Alana and Anthony Brookshire plan to officially launch their new food truck, Jamaican Joes, in June.
“We just took the steps to make it a reality,” Anthony Brookshire said.
He hopes his grub brings Daytonians together.
“I love to cook and I love to make people happy through cooking,” Brookshire said. “It just makes everyone equal. When you are sitting down eating you can start a conversation.”
The couple, Thurgood Marshall High School graduates, launched Jamaican Joes three years ago with Alana’s brother Rico Parker.
They started out by making meals out of their home and delivering them to customers.
Last year, the business expanded to a booth.
The new truck’s menu puts a Jamaican jerk chicken and spicy jerk sauce twist of American favorites.
As Alana, a social worker by training, explains: You can “bun it” in the form of a chicken sandwich, “dog it” by adding jerk chicken to hot dog, “fold it” as a jerk chicken taco or plant it by ordering a vegetarian meal.
Anthony, a retired Marine corporal, said the idea for the company and its name came to him a decade ago in a dream.
“We are average people (average Joes). We want to spread love. We want to basically heal the community and have those conversations over food,” he said.
Anthony Brookshire said he is partly of Haitian and Geechee descent and has relatives with Jamaican lineage.
The Brookshires said the truck will be at the Dayton Reggae Festival and the Dayton African American Cultural Festival this summer.
Jamaican Joes menu also includes Jamaican-inspired corn on the cob and pineapple bowls.
“It is basically what we call Jamaican street food,” the Trotwood resident said. “It is just an uplifting experience when you eat at Jamaican Joes.