Former Jamaican farm worker opens food truck in Nova Scotia

A Jamaican who arrived in Canada as a farm worker is making waves as a small business owner.

Richard Gardner’s food truck Cinderella’s Caribbean Pot.

Richard Gardner is serving up a Jamaican-style culinary experience for residents of Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia.

Starting up a food truck business in the midst of a pandemic may have seemed like a bad idea, but the new venture is getting plenty of support from locals who are joining long lines, while maintaining the social distance of six feet, to get a taste of Gardner’s hand.

Cinderella’s Caribbean Pot, which opened in the summer and is to be operated seasonally during the warmer months, serves up a variety of Jamaican dishes, boasting a signature jerk sandwich as well as a curried goat platter.

Gardner told CBC that his inspiration for the business came from his mother.

He explained that in the district he is from his mom is a popular cook and that’s where he learned culinary skills.

Gardner said he wasn’t trying to open a business in a pandemic, but noted that the opportunity presented itself , so he went with it.

“When the chance is there, you have to take it, right? You have to make a change in life sometimes. Take a chance and never give up,” added Gardner.

Gardner went on to explain that he came to Canada after he had applied to the farm work programme in 2004, and at the time he knew very little about Annapolis Valley.  

He noted that he fell in love with the place after visiting multiple times for work, developing friendships and even meeting his wife, Serilla .