Deja Food Truck! - The Independent Tees Collective

16 Jan 2021

You guys know me, if there's one thing that I love more than anything in the whole world, it's food. So it's only right that for the third instalment of The Independent Tees Collective, I share a local foodie biz that I've been loving ever since I discovered them on Instagram in the summer of 2020.

Deja Food Truck! is a unique heat at home food service that I've never seen anywhere else. Owners, James and Leanne, create fresh, homemade full meals, including starters, mains, desserts, nibbles and little extras, that can be heated and eaten at home. But the unique spin is that each week, the menu centres around a different country, so you're guaranteed a different meal every time you order from them.

If that sounds up your street, take a look at this little Q&A to find out a bit more about DFT! and the amazing pair behind the fabulous food.

Hello! Let's start with a bit of an introduction. Who are you and what is your business all about?

Hi! Deja Food Truck! is a gourmet heat at home world party food service, currently operating in Teesside.

Where did the inspiration for Deja Food Truck! come from? What made you want to kickstart it?

Like many others, I was dealt a difficult hand with covid. I wasn’t entitled to furlough, even though I’d started a new job in February and my other business at a school also couldn’t open. We weren’t able to gain any kind of financial support from the government, so my partner and I had to do something to protect our home, so we did this! And Deja Food Truck! was born…

Which has been your favourite week (country and food-wise) so far?

There're been so many I've loved! Am I allowed a top three? If so, I'd choose... Asian, Moroccan and Japanese.

What do you enjoy most about running Deja Food Truck?

The freedom and not having a job that isn't creative or challenging. I love being able to listen to my favourite music all day, every day - that's a huge perk. Doing food swaps with other independents are also really cool!

What has been Deja Food Truck!'s biggest achievement so far?

Oooh, that's a tough one. There's been lots of proud moments since we opened on June 12th (2020). Our customer feedback keeps us pushing harder each week to improve and better ourselves. Being in 8 newspapers in one week was pretty cool. However, my proudest moment was when my son and I posed for photos with Tees Valley mayor, Ben Houchen. His face was priceless!

What do you love about the Teesside independent scene?

I absolutely love all the amazing independents in our area. Covid has really brought out the best in a lot of vendors and customers in our local area have been incredible, supporting all our hard working creative food businesses through such a challenging time.

The food scene in Teesside is starting to feel really exciting now! We need to get behind all the up and comings, and help build up and promote all of the new and emerging talent.

What's next for Deja Food Truck? What do you hope for the future?

I'm excited to announce that Deja Food Truck! will be moving into the kitchen above Strickland and Holt in Yarm from this January. DFT! have so many exciting things planned that I can't tell you about (sorry!), but expect a lot more pop ups, food destinations and a hot for collection offer in the near future. Oh, and when the restrictions ease, we'll be planning a sit down tasting menu experience.

Source: Deja Food Truck!

And finally, recommend one other Teesside independent to us!

My current favourite Teesside independent is my Strickland and Holt's kitchen buddy, 'Sushiboy'. We're incredibly lucky to have the 18 Michelin star chef in Teesside! His food won him Australia's best Japanese restaurant, not once, but twice! It's exciting to have Shaun's authentic Japanese cuisine in our area. Hopefully, we can keep working together to help bring fantastic quality food to Yarm high street.

If this has sparked a bit of interest, you can find Deja Food Truck! on Facebook and Instagram. The new menus are announced every Thursday and you can order from 10AM on Sunday. You also need to keep your eyes peeled for specials, like TV dinners and any of the other secret plans that DFT! have got coming up this year.

Make sure you check back next week for another incredible Tees independent!

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