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Meet Joaquin Ortiz and Henrik Telle of Jealous Fork in Kendall

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joaquin Ortiz and Henrik Telle.

Joaquin and Henrik, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Henrik and I have known each other for 10+ years, he moved to Miami from Norway to complete his master’s degree (FIU) in Telecommunications, management and networking. I moved to Miami from Los Angeles to go to culinary school (Johnson & Wales). We started as friends and over time we opened up Tea & Poets, a café in South Miami together (with one other partner). After the tremendous success of that business, Henrik and I decided to bring our innovation, creativity and nostalgic love for breakfast to Pancakes. Meet Jealous Fork.

Jealous Fork is the first artisan pancake food truck in the country (yes, we researched it, there are other food trucks serving breakfast food and pancakes, but not one dedicated to artisan pancakes). We are serving savory and sweet pancakes like the Pork Belly Banh Mi with slow-braised pork belly, pickled carrots, red chilis, fresh cucumber, basil and cilantro. Or if you’re more into sweets, we have the Lemon Curd & Blueberry, homemade lemon curd, blueberry syrup and Ricotta Crèma. Some of our other top sellers are the Chicken Thigh High, Brunch & Still Hungover, Strawberry Cheesecake, and Chocolate Oreo Chip.

We’ve only been open for two months and so far it has been amazing! We have sold out just about every day and have already done private events for WIX web development company, Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida, two birthdays and just did South Beach Seafood Festival last October 26th.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Opening up and sustaining any business is not a smooth road. I think one thing that separates entrepreneurs from others is their ability or be resilient, innovative and over the top committed to hard work and their vision. Most people want to have free weekends or extra time to do things. It’s not that an entrepreneur doesn’t want those things, it’s that they are willing to sacrifice those things while building or working their business.

We had a budget for opening Jealous Fork that we felt was fairly accurate but then again neither of us had ever purchased a food truck before… We bought a 1999 Chevy P30 food truck and thought we’d be on our way in no time. Within the first month of recipe testing our pancakes we had to unexpectedly fix several components on the truck including the generator, front brakes and one random Thursday when we were getting ready to open the starter went bad. We called Chevy and they quoted us $750 to fix it. That’s a good amount of money for a new business, not to mention they said it would take three days to fix. So, we looked up how to replace a starter on YouTube decided that it didn’t look that difficult and drove to advance auto parts, bought the started and fixed it ourselves for $240.

Please tell us about your business.
Jealous Fork is completely reinventing the way people perceive a pancake. It’s quite a challenge when someone walks up to the truck and expects, tacos, burgers or arrapes, just about 85% of what the food trucks in Miami serve. Getting our potential customers to get out of their heads when it comes to their normal perception or expectation of a pancake is the greatest challenge. Once we get over that hump, it’s awesome! We have not had one single customer that was not blown away! Most people see pancakes as a breakfast food that is incredibly filling and sweet. After a good size stack of pancakes, you’re usually put into a food coma and just chill for the next few hours. That’s nothing like a Jealous Fork experience. We spent three months before opening on just the pancake recipe alone. We tested out multiple different flowers, ratios of baking soda to baking powder, how and when to incorporate the eggs, we even tried making our buttermilk. After months of eating pancakes, we came up with a pancake dough! Now, it was time to get started on the different flavor profiles… we wanted to choose the classics but elevate them. Who doesn’t love chocolate chip pancakes? We decided to bake oreos and chocolate chips into the batter for this one, add oreos to the homemade whipped cream, finish it off with chocolate sauce, powdered sugar and a pinch of sea salt. For the strawberry pancake when wanted to incorporate another element we loved… Cheesecake, our strawberry pancake has a cheesecake sauce in between each layer and is covered in homemade strawberry syrup, whipped cream and crushed graham crackers. We have other sweet pancakes that are amazing but I don’t think you want to spend all day reading my descriptions of them. I’ll just tell you about our number one seller, which is not even a sweet pancake at all. It’s our Chicken Thigh High, it’s got this awesome South West Tex-Mex flavor profile that people just love! We bake fresh corn into the pancake making it almost like cornbread, in between each of the three pancakes we add a chipotle crema and then top it off with colby-jack cheese, slow-braised pulled chicken, black bean salsa and fresh cilantro. It’s so good! So, in a long-winded answer to your question… we think the thing that sets us apart is that we are doing something with food that no one has ever done before!

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
We are only two months into this business so we don’t have that much hindsight just yet. But, I think that if it would have been possible to bring the truck pre-purchase to a mechanic for an inspection we might have been made aware of some additional uncalculated expenses that await us. At that point, we could have decided to buy the truck and move forward or keep looking for another one.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jealous Fork

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