CANA — A local family is “putting the love” in their cooking as they treat the locals like royalty with gourmet sliders and more.
Slider Kings owner Misty King is a Cana native, having recently moved back after 10 years in the Raleigh, N.C. area. Previously she was in the pharmacy industry while husband Andy, who is also from Cana, is in quality control in the asphalt industry.
“On Sunday nights I put the locations for the whole week on the website and daily I remind them on my Facebook…hey! I’m here!,” said King. “I will also offer specials which I post as well.”
Slider Kings is open from Monday through Saturday (and some holidays) typically from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Naturally, the location will vary. The menu includes appetizers such as house-made potato chips (dusted with fresh, grated Parmesan), bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapenos and fried green tomatoes. There are also daily specials.
The gourmet sliders promise to live up the firm’s motto of offering what is “Royally Delicious.” Although the truck has been up and running officially for over three weeks, early fan favorites are the King’s Crab Cake and Californian Grilled Chicken sliders (featuring locally-sourced ingredients wherever possible.) The slider menu also includes a cheddar burger and a meatball option. Other offerings include a garden salad and a house salad; a kids menu and homemade desserts.
She feels the hours will change as she continues to build the business, looking to add a table and chairs in the future, perhaps. King said patrons can find out about the menu and where she will be on a given day on Facebook at SliderKingsFoodTruck. People are also encouraged to contact them at (276) 733-0465 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to schedule them for an event.
King said the journey to taking that leap into a business of her own was a long journey, racking up years of experience in restaurants as she worked her way into the pharmaceutical business in Raleigh.
“So I was in pharmaceuticals and you know you’re making a difference but at the same time it is very stressful and demanding. I don’t know. I knew we were getting ready to move back here and I didn’t want to stay in pharmaceuticals. I began to think about what I wanted to do. I’d been in the restaurant business for 20 years previous to pharmaceuticals and it was what I knew. I knew customers. I enjoy the interaction. I first looked into a restaurant (building) but it wasn’t in a good location and it was going to cost way too much money to renovate it.”
According to King, it was six months later inspiration hit when she watched the television show “The Great Food Truck Race.” She felt it was perfect for her. Something she could fo by herself, or with a minimum of three.
“And wala! Here I am. it’s crazy. On grand opening day (August 25), right before we opened, I thought, ‘Oh my God. This is real. There’s no going back. What have I done!,’” King said. “My step-daughter said, ‘Misty, get it together. You’ve got this.’ Now I’ve settled in to it. Even my husband, who often works with me on Saturdays because its busy, has said, ‘Wow, baby you’re really got it down.’ It’s amazing. It’s a different kind of stress. This headache is mine and it feels more worth it.”
King said her menu remains a “work in progress.” Originally she had a lot more items on the menu but quickly learned, due to the limited space on a food truck, how to establish a base of ingredients which can be used in multiple ways for different items.
“I dwindled it down to what I thought would be the biggest sellers. Out of the ones I didn’t put on the (regular) menu I run them as specials,” said King. “I feature only quality, locally-sourced meats, except for the crab meat. It’s from Maryland. All my produce comes from across the street (such as from Virginia Carolina Produce in Cana) whenever possible. Who wants to pay a cheap price for an OK meal? I would rather pay slightly more for a well worth it meal. It makes me feel so good when I see they enjoy something I have cooked.”
She said customers tell her regularly they can taste the quality and she has found satisfaction on repeat business, sometimes the same day when co-workers see the sliders or appetizers and come over to order some of the goodness for themselves.
“If there’s something on the menu you don’t see, ask. I will do my best to fix it the way you want but you gotta tell everybody about it when you leave,” said King. “The community seems really receptive. I know these people. I grew up with most of them. Building it is the hard part.” She said quality eats also have the ability to really win over new converts when they taste combinations new to them.
The name for the truck plays off the last name of the Family. King said she wanted something different than taco trucks and saw while sliders are growing in popularity there weren’t many food trucks offering them. She toyed with the idea of calling the company “Sliderz.” A co-worker overheard her and suggested “Slider Kings,” which lit up her imagination.
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave