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iN VIDEO: This food truck brought California tacos to the Central Okanagan

Ian Locket, co-owner of Surf Side California, hands out one of his Famous Fish Tacos.
Ian Locket, co-owner of Surf Side California, hands out one of his Famous Fish Tacos.

Ian Locket still has his California licence plate on his Surf Side California food truck, taken from when he was a resident of San Diego.

Initially moving there for a construction job, Locket noticed the delicious flavours of California tacos, and when the economy crashed in 2008, he and his family moved to the Central Okanagan, where he grew up. 

The Famous Fish Tacos remain his most popular offering and the recipe hasn’t changed since the business' inception in 2013, Locket said. You can find the Famous Fish Tacos served with fresh cabbage, pico de gallo and the business’s signature aioli.

“That’s what (our customers remember) that’s what they want to come back for,” he said. “Those flavours have been brought up when I lived in San Diego, so that’s a replica of what I was eating down there and it’s really taken off here.”

In San Diego, he would eat from Mexican food trucks all the time. When moving back to the Okanagan, he saw there was an opportunity to bring that distinct flavour to Kelowna.

“There was really no food trucks doing what we were doing, and we decided to do it as a hobby,” he said.

“It’s still growing and it’s really satisfying,” he said, adding the key to establishing a food truck business in Kelowna is to offer something that everyone enjoys.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic has begun, Locket has kept busy with the Meals for Truckers initiative, started by a Kamloops resident to provide meals for truckers across the province when businesses temporarily closed their restaurants, making it difficult for truckers to find food on the go.

READ MORE: Over $60,000 donated to Kamloops Meals for Truckers initiative, gives truckers free meals

While that side has slowed since businesses have reopened, he suspects it might pick up again in the fall if there’s a second wave and more business sponsorships roll in, he said.

Surf Side California has expanded to include three food trucks since it began, and you can find them at locations including at 2650 Acland Road near the Husky card lock and at Gasoline Alley Harley-Davidson in Kelowna.

Surf Side California is part of a short video series which explores Central Okanagan food culture. Stay tuned for more features during the summer.

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