First Look: Juma Food Truck & Catering

Animal husbandry is weird. Every time I pet a sheep or feed a pig, I’m reminded how strange it is that we humans have the ability to domesticate and raise other species. With the easy familiarity we have with cats and dogs, it’s easy to forget that we also have this innate, semi-magical connection with all kinds of farm animals.

This last week I was standing in the sheep pen at Sayward Farm talking to Aidan Pine, the proprietor of a mobile food trailer called Juma. As he hand-fed the bleating sheep and poured slop into the pig trough, I remembered elementary school field trips to Maplewood Farm in North Vancouver; rainboots sucking in the mud, the sound and smell of fresh milk hitting an aluminum bucket. The whole movement of reconnecting to the sources of the food we eat starts here, on farms like these — and if you’re looking to truly put your money where your mouth is, Juma is one of your best options.


At 23, Aidan is strikingly young to be running his own business, but a taste of his dishes quickly sets you straight. This is a guy with a strong connection to food and a short but impressive resume. After a scant three months of culinary school in Montreal, he moved to Denmark (“for a girl”) and found himself in high demand. “When I got there it was like, oh, credentials from a culinary school in North America!”

He found jobs cooking in East Indian and Thai restaurants, learning the recipes that today define the “global taste” half of Juma’s motto. And with a little luck and the help of a wine merchant turned sailboat captain, he snagged a one month internship (or “stage”) at one of the world’s most renowned restaurants: the two Michelin star Noma, rated best restaurant in the world four times in the last five years by Restaurant magazine. “There we would work 16-18 hour days with tweezers pulling veal neck apart into fibers and arranging it into little nests,” said Aidan. “It’s great but it’s the total opposite of cooking out of a food truck.”



The hyper-local “foraging” philosophy of Noma followed him home from Copenhagen to Victoria, where in 2012 his parents Jim and Jan purchased Sayward Farm. Aidan knew it would be a great source for hormone and antibiotic-free, ethically raised livestock, as well as fruits and vegetables grown without pesticides. With his culinary experience and a supplier lined up, he took his savings and began to look around for a storefront. “Everything was 4-5000 a month rent, and you’re paying out of pocket while you’re doing renovations,” said Aidan. “I had some money saved up, four or five years of savings, but you need some serious financial backing to bankroll six months of rent while you’re doing renovations.” A converted (and thankfully unused) horse trailer started looking like a good bet. “When I saw the trailers and started looking at numbers and designing it myself, it just kinda made sense.”


Unlike many other food trucks, it’s rare to see a Juma menu item offered twice. Aidan is constantly coming up with fresh takes on Vancouver Island ingredients. “Our whole food system is so regimented here in Canada,” he says. “You learn that ‘food comes from Sysco’, you have to prep it the day before, it almost hinders your ability to adapt and change as the seasons change, which I’m hopefully trying to do with the food truck.” Aidan’s talents as a chef and commitment to locally sourced ingredients have made Victoria’s farmers market community sit up and take notice. “We tripled the business in August that we did in June,” says Aidan. “I was expecting that we’d get a little more popular, but I’ve actually been blown away by how fast it’s happened.”



Aidan’s food trailer is sadly closed for the fall and winter seasons, but if your tastebuds are tingling, send him from his Website. Aidan and his staff keep themselves busy through the winter, catering “everything from private full course dinners to larger events and weddings.” Inventive, locally-sourced grub — there’s nothing better for feeding a team of hungry web developers and wedding guests alike.


Juma Food Trailer





Sayward Farm

834 Sayward Rd

Saanich BC V8Y 1R4


Written By:

Vancouver-born photographer, writer and designer Sol Kauffman has had his hands dirty in restaurant kitchens for years, washing dishes and slinging pizzas. In 2008 he moved to Victoria to pursue a BFA in Creative Writing at UVic ...

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