This season has been hard on the Little Rock food truck scene, we already lost a crowd favorite in Waffle Wagon, and we are tracking the potential of losing a couple of others. Then we receive the unexpected news that a personal favorite, Kincaid’s Coffee.
Thankfully with Kincaid it is more about opportunity rather than necessity. Owner Stephen Kincaid tells us that he has accepted a job with JB Hunt in Northwest Arkansas, his last set up in Little Rock will be August 12th in the morning at the Verizon campus.
Kincaid started the coffee truck in July last year after working for years as a systems analyst for Acxiom. The move to JB Hunt will return him to a similar role, however the position requires him to move north.
“I have loved this past year of working the truck. Mostly I love when we set up in corporate locations, you get a chance to really know your customers and you get a lot of repeat business,” Kincaid tells us. “Unlike events where we are just serving a ton of people, we really get a chance to visit and talk with people when they come down from their office to grab coffee. I get to hear their stories and develop strong relationships after setting up week after week. I will really miss a lot of our regulars and it makes this move difficult.”
Kincaid’s is one of the few Little Rock trucks that maintains a consistent weekly schedule. Most local trucks have opted to set up only around events, food truck meets, and farmers markets as the truck craze has died down slightly. This naturally means less exposure and frequency of the trucks, which has likely contributed to the slowing consumer demand for trucks, which in turn has further declined the revenue trucks make when they do setup.
For Kincaid’s the move comes at an unfortunate time in his truck’s lifespan.The addition of a solid and evolving brat concept, Pirate Brats, to complement the coffee, we felt that Kincaid’s was really hitting a stride with the truck. It was certainly the pinnacle of the experience with Kincaid’s in terms of bringing food and coffee together. Several other times Kincaid tried food, but none have come close to the latest effort.
Losing Kincaid’s is also a personal loss. Kincaid has set up at more of our food truck events than any other single truck. His presence is always a welcome experience at places like Hillcrest and Baptist Farmers markets, and overall Stephen is one of the nicest food truck owners around.
As for the future of Kincaid’s, I doubt this will be the last we hear of him. Moving to Northwest Arkansas puts him closer to his two sons who live and attend school in the area, so anything in the immediate future will likely be there. He says he is looking at continuing to develop his brat concept in a few years once he is settled in and his sons are out of school.
“I think there is a lot we can do with the brats, I have a really solid long-term concept I hope to come back to in a couple of years. Most likely we will look at going brick and mortar next rather than starting a truck, but I have a lot of passion for food and serving customers,” Kincaid says. “For the immediate future though, I am just looking forward to being able to spend more time with my kids, who I would not be able to see often otherwise when they are in college. Plus the Northwest food scene has grown a lot, so I am really excited to get up and check out all the new places.”
Take the opportunity to get out and visit Kincaid’s coffee over the next week and show them appreciation for their service to the food truck community. They will be missed in our slightly less caffeinated future not just as a truck, but a valuable part of the food community.