There’s a new red food truck making the rounds in Airdrie, with a menu much like its owner – bold, confident and just plain fun.
Amit Arora owns Damit Amit, That’s Tasty, and this affable Airdrian has a recipe for success.
“My whole business is based on my personality, which is out there, joking around, having fun. Good food, good fun, good people.”
Arora, who was born in Calgary and has lived in Airdrie for more than 12 years, is of East Indian heritage, and says that food and celebration have always been a part of his experience.
“That’s how I see the food truck; it’s an experience. It doesn’t matter who you are … you come to my truck, taste my food; all I want is for you to walk away happy.”
Arora worked as a financial advisor in Airdrie for several years, but eventually quit, because he didn’t have “a good life balance between work and family.” He found employment at local golf courses, working as a marshal, bartender, and in managerial positions. But then his daughter was born, and once again he felt the call to a balanced life.
“I was never home. I was always (working at the golf course), and last summer I just said, ‘This is getting ridiculous, my daughter is going to be four, and every summer goes by and I don’t see her.’”
Arora decided to pursue a passion he has had since he was 12 – creating great food.
“I’ve always loved cooking and messing around in the kitchen.”
He found a used, full-service food truck on Kijiji. It was a risk, and he was nervous, but Arora is philosophical.
“Nerves are good. If you have nerves, you have fear; and if you have fear, you’ll care; and if you care, you’re going to do one hell of a job.”
His wife, Jeanine, whom he met in high school, works in marketing and is in charge of promoting the business.
“I couldn’t have found a better soul mate,” he says, shaking his head. “I wouldn’t have been able to do this without her.”
How did Damit Amit, That’s Tasty get its name? Damit Amit, he explains, evolved from people unsure of how to pronounce his name.
“I would say to them, think ‘damn it.’ So, from there, it’s always been Damit Amit.”
Their daughter, Laya, is credited with the rest of the slogan that accompanies the colourful caricature of Arora on the side of the truck.
“When she eats something she likes, she’ll go, ‘Thaaaat’s taaasty.’”
His menu is “tasty,” including samosas, DynAmit Sticks, burgers, fish bites, chicken or shrimp bowls, and his daughter’s favourite, mac and cheese. The DynAmit Sticks are made with all-natural meat from Your Local Ranch Ltd, a family-owned business near Airdrie. With bacon and cheddar, or Jalapeno and cream cheese, the “dawgs” are wrapped in spring roll pastry and deep fried, and served with Arora’s homemade Bam Bam dipping sauce.
Ingredients are important to Amit.
“All natural. No additives. Just healthy food.”
One of his long-term goals is to use social media to inspire weekly client-driven menus.
“It’ll be like, ‘Ok, social media, what are you liking this week?’” he explains, “And then I’ll pick the top four.”
Besides working events and catering private parties, (Amit parks in the driveway), he also provides in-house catering, using a client’s kitchen. But he prefers the professional facilities of the food truck.
“I love my truck,” he says, adding. “I love my food. I love my family. I think it’s a good balance.”