Minot local opens a new food truck
Jake Lockrem, a local resident, recently opened Minot’s first burger food truck, Dakota Burger Truck. Lockrem bought the vehicle, an old DHL delivery van, from a private seller in Mandan, North Dakota, and remodeled it from September 2018 to February 2019, opening business in February 2019.
“I had to completely gut the whole thing — I had some mechanical issues I had to repair and had to build basically a mobile commercial kitchen, from the ground up,” Lockrem said.
Although he had a background in construction, Lockrem admitted he knew nothing about food service.
“I had no idea how to build a commercial kitchen,” Lockrem said. “My biggest issue was that it’s a 20-year-old truck, has a million miles on it, and even with the new motor in it, I still had a lot of issues that I had to contend with.”
Lockrem explained that he did research, spoke with people familiar with the industry, and had conversations with First District Health Unit to make sure he was doing the remodel properly. While in the Air Force, Lockrem traveled to many different places and tried many different burgers. Upon moving back to Minot, Lockrem realized there was nothing here that compared to what he had had before.
“I like a flavorful juicy burger. I spent years just trying to match up to anything I found overseas or in different areas of the country, and I finally found one that I liked. I kind of sat on it (the recipe) for a long time, fed it to myself and to my family and I kind of came to realization that maybe I should do it as a business,” Lockrem reflected.
Lockrem takes pride in his food being always fresh and never frozen, prepared in the burger truck every morning. The style of the menu was chosen to be al la carte, Lockrem wants the customers to have the power to decide and tell him what they want, which has been a success thus far.
“The feedback has been phenomenal and way beyond what I ever imagined. I throw the word humble out there, but it truly is that. I never expected to get the reaction from people that I have,” he said.
Dakota Burger Truck moves to various places around town throughout the week during lunch hours. Currently, the truck parks at Broadway Liquor, across from campus, on Fridays, featuring their jalapeno burger and a special discount inside the store with the receipt.
“Whenever I go somewhere, I want it to be mutually beneficial for everybody. As weird as it sounds, I’m not trying to compete with anybody, any of the other restaurants or anything like that,” Lockrem said.
Still being a new to the industry, Lockrem plans to work on establishing the food truck with his team in the community but is not opposed to expanding if customers request.