Local Business

Jeffer hoists a 50-pound box of potatoes above his head at his new location at Canadian Tire.

Fans of French fries and proponents of poutine rejoice: There’s a new Jeffer's Fryzz truck on duty to satisfy your crispy chip cravings.

Jeff (Jeffer) Treadway, the founder of Penticton’s only year-round food truck, which has been ranked one of Canada’s best in the fry business, recently established a second location in the Canadian Tire parking lot.

The former Dairyland delivery van he converted into a chip wagon for $5,000 more than three decades ago is now parked near the store’s garden centre serving up everybody’s favourites.

“Doug MacMillan of Canadian Tire had been asking me for the last 10 years to set up the truck in the parking lot, so I thought, ‘What the heck? I might as well,’” explained Treadway.

“I didn’t think it would be that lucrative, and I thought maybe in six weeks I’ll make enough money to cover my wages, but I covered my wages on the first day and it’s been crazy ever since.

“I’m really surprised at the reception. It’s way better than I expected. Semis are going by honking their horns, people are pulling in to have lunch.”

The new location has already led to some new fans.

“Old people are getting their plants at Canadian Tire and are coming out and

buying our fish and chips for the first time,” he said.

This particular truck is not exactly new; it was actually once used at the Nanaimo Avenue location.

“It got to the point where it was so busy downtown and the truck couldn’t quite handle it, so my little truck was wandering around like a little gypsy. I tried Kelowna and a few other spots, but it didn’t work out,” said Treadway

The truck was originally designed to satisfy the appetites of participants and audience members of the annual Mr. Muscle and Miss Bikini contest that for years was held at Skaha Beach, before political correctness killed it.

“I found an old picture and I’m on the beach (Skaha) with 20 people in bikinis – way cool,” said Treadway, whose natural effervescence is always a customer draw.

His secret of success?

“Every customer is me. I treat every customer the best I can,” he said. “These people are not just my customers, they’re my friends. I treat everybody the same whether it’s the Queen of England, a street person, a lawyer or surgeon.

“The fries are good, too.”

Treadway also instills that dedication to customer service in all his employees.

He remembered telling a 14-year-old employee who was “shy” with his smile to treat every customer like it was a potential girlfriend.

“And a big smile came on his face and he changed and he smiled at everybody,” said Treadway, laughing at the memory.

He has hired two ladies to look after the new location, where he will be found as well, while son Tim, who has one of dad’s kidneys, will hold down the fort at the downtown location for his dedicated clientele.

“To me, having the little truck back doing what she does best is just fantastic and I’m just looking forward to making a whole bunch of new friends. I know we’re going to do that,” said Treadway.

The new location is open daily from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.