A mobile food truck at Circular Road in Dimapur. Image: Bhadra Gogoi

Mobile food industry is flourishing in Nagaland, especially in Dimapur and Kohima, with modified food trucks and bikes selling roasted chicken, momo, chow, etc filling the air with fresh food aromas.

Foodies are seen making a beeline to Circular Road in Dimapur around the City Tower in the evening. These food vendors are mostly young Nagas who are back home from metro cities of the country after the Covid-19 outbreak last year.

H Toluto Zhimomi, an entrepreneur, said one evening as he sat on the terrace with his cousin, they discussed starting a small business for survival. That’s when they decided to buy a small used truck and modify it into a kitchen. Their plan materialised and they named the food truck “Tom’s Kitchen”.

“Perhaps we are earning good in a way so far. But that doesn’t mean our earning will always be the same. It is going to be seasonal unlike in metro cities,” Zhimomi said.

Dr. Supong Jamir, a Ph.D. degree holder, expressed how his love and passion for food “ignited a fire” in him during the year-long lockdown, driving him to start “Food Express”, his very own mobile restaurant, along with his business partner Wangshienla.

“One’s job or profession becomes one’s lifestyle when it is done with passion, without which it becomes tiresome in the long run,” he said. His signature dishes include Chilly Octopus and Spicy Chicken which he claims is a favourite of the regular customers.

According to a customer, Gitashree Biswas, these food trucks are a place of escape when one wishes to rejuvenate one’s senses after a hectic day at work.

Another entrepreneur, Vika was in Mumbai before he started his BBQ Bike in Dimapur.

The mobile food industry in Dimapur has noticeably been thriving better after the Covid-19 outbreak. The lockdown caused a good section of the populace to cut down on their expenses. As a result, these food trucks’ cheaper services seemed to be a better option than the traditional restaurants.

The fact that customers can eat in the open space instead of dining within closed walls allowed people to feel safer as well.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com