This week's Black History Month Spotlight is on Chef Clive Thompson, Owner of One Love Food Truck.
Here are some questions we asked Chef Clive Thompson:
Q: What is the most important event or milestone to occur in your lifetime?
A: One really notable moment was on Jan 26, 2020. We had been running the food truck for a few years getting the venture off the ground and we decided to compete at the Master Chef’s Classic. This is annual charity event hosted by the MARC House draws all the major fine dining restaurants and established local Key West Chefs. We won 2nd Place in the Entrée Category, Latitude’s won 1st Place and Bagatelle took 3rd Place that year. It was tremendously humbling and a true honor to compete and then WIN with my own food truck and my own team. It was incredible that even though we were up against super successful long standing fine dining restaurants in Key West, our start-up, small, but passionate and strong team was able to hold our own at this huge culinary event.
Q: Who has been the most inspiring leader to influence you in your personal and professional career?
A: There have been many Chefs and mentors who have guided me along the way from New York to Orlando in Disney World, but the most inspiring leader I worked along side is Chef Martin Liz. He has gone above and beyond for me as a true brother in the F&B business from way back in the day. He exemplifies what it means to have One Love for myself, my staff and for our island community. Chef Martin walks the walk of what Key Westers say here “One Human Family” because he genuinely cares about his community and the people that live here. He believes we’re all working together as a team on this island, and that we all share in the success of doing well. Chef Martin has consistently been there and has shown up for me without ever giving it a second thought. I’m grateful for him.
Q: What is the most important conversation that the business community should be having?
A: The Key West business community needs to be discussing a grassroots solution to the housing issue considering the sustainability of having people who can live here and work here. The housing shortage is causing problems for every business owner here. How can we operate if we don’t have staff that can find a place to live? The business community should stand together and encourage a solution out of City Hall to limit the number of Monthly Vacation Rentals, just like there is already a cap on the number of Transient Rental Licenses. This is the main issue, and the reason why our community is experiencing such a housing shortage and crisis. In addition to capping the number of monthly vacation rentals, some sort of worthwhile incentive program could be given to reward homeowners who rent to locals who actually work here and live here full time which would support the staffing issues local businesses face.
Q: Do you have a favorite quote?
A: “Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t you complicate your mind: Flee from hate, mischief and jealous! Don’t bury you thoughts; put your vision to reality, yeah! All together now Wake up and live ” – Bob Marley + The Wailers from his song “Wake up and Live” That quote inspired us to create one of our burgers of the week: The Wake Up and Live Burger
Q: Tell us a little bit about your business.
A: One Love Food Truck is located at the Chevron on Stock Island, 5220 US HWY 1. We’re open Tuesday – Sunday 11am-6pm and we offer catering, events and personal chef services. I am from Jamaica originally but I have been in Key West for a long time so our menu reflects those influences. Our “real island flavor” concept is an original modern take on Caribbean and Key West cuisine. We are a food truck but we operate more like a restaurant. Guests say all the time dining with us is a one of a kind experience. We offer fast quality food, reggae music, we provide genuine customer service, and we’re innovating the food truck experience. All of our next level sauces and dressings are made right here at One Love Food Truck. Our brand is also known for our flavorful, fresh and healthy-ish offerings including many gluten -free and vegetarian options. Our guiding ethos is to have “One Love” in all we do: One Love in preparing the food, One Love in serving our guests, One Love for our environment and community. Although my team is from very different backgrounds, we are unified by our One Love philosophy. We all embody the spirit of America, which rewards individuals who show up, do their best, work hard, and create amazing services regardless of where you came from.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.