ASHE COUNTY — Last month, local business owner Kristin Howell was surprised when she found out that her food truck, Kristin’s Hook’d on Smoke, had been voted as “Finest Food Truck” in Carolina Country magazine, a monthly publication that is published by the NC Electric Cooperatives.
“We didn’t have a clue what the award was for,” Howell said.
There was a nomination and voting process that readers took part in and Kristin’s Hook’d on Smoke not only won the Finest Food Truck category but was also featured on the front cover of the November issue of the magazine.
Howell, who is frequently joined inside the food truck by either her daughter, Whitley Younger, or her coworker, Tab Wilkins, strives to provide customers with the freshest and most delicious food possible throughout the spring, summer and fall months. While the food truck doesn’t operate during the winter months, you won’t have to travel far to find her tasty food when the temperatures warm back up.
“We set up in various places all over the county and we only leave the county if we have a catering opportunity somewhere,” Howell said. “The menu changes every day, you’re never guaranteed to get the same thing twice, but we always try to keep our bourbon meatloaf, burgers, barbecue and wings. Those are our staples.”
Howell says they have been hired to cater wedding and special events, everything from events with 15 people up to events with 600 people.
“No matter the size of the event, we can get it done. Most people just think we are a food truck and don’t know what else we can do,” she said.
Howell’s first venture into restaurant ownership took place in 2013 when she took over When Pigs Fly in the old Lowes Foods Shopping Center. She later moved the restaurant to U.S. Highway 221 Business in Jefferson near Tractor Supply. She owned and operated that until it closed in 2018 after a mudslide behind the building forced her to close. After that, she started operating the kitchen at Shatley Springs Restaurant and moved on from there to managing the kitchen at New River Brewing in West Jefferson. The food truck was the most recent move and so far, things have been great.
When Kristin’s Hook’d on Smoke gets back on the road this spring, she will have a new, more permanent location just outside of downtown West Jefferson. The spot, located at 602 South Jefferson Avenue, is currently undergoing renovations that will have outside seating and a kitchen inside the building as well.
“We look forward to feeding your faces,” Howell said.
For more information on the food truck and catering opportunities, be sure to visit their website at https://www.kristins-hookd-on-smoke.com.