Mobile jerk chicken man keeps revellers fuelled up
As revellers jammed on the streets of the Corporate Area on Sunday, moved by the energetic beats of soca music and fuelled by premium mixed drinks, one entrepreneur sought to keep up with the crowd by providing another spicy commodity to the experience.
Carl Spaulding, who goes by the moniker 'High 5', was seen at every major intersection during Sunday's road march, quickly preparing dishes of freshly jerked chicken quarters and bread for hungry patrons, road marshals, and even police officers. As he lifted the jerk pan, the smell of spice quickly filled the air, tickling the nostrils of passers-by and feters alike. But Spaulding is no ordinary jerk pan man, as his stall is equipped with a car motor, wheels and an engine that allows him to make an additional profit, as he is mobile.
At the intersection of Trafalgar Road, Spaulding made a sale to two police officers, who made a special request to make it extra spicy. In no time, other patrons flocked to his stall. However, as the Bacchanal Jamaica parade came closer, Spaulding revved his engine, inching ahead of marchers.
"I in this thing for a long time, 'bout, say, 20 years. Today a carnival, and I said a the best day fi come out come see if me can make a food. Me nah go frown like the rest a dem, but it has been good for me. This is High 5, the fastest jerk chicken. I am the only person on wheels," Spaulding said, as he hastily prepared an order.
The Tivoli Gardens High School graduate told THE STAR that he has since created a niche for himself, making appearances at a different dancehall event each night.
"On a Monday night, I'm at Uptown Mondays. Tuesday night, me deh Whappinz and Soulfood Tuesdays. Wednesday night, me deh Weddy Weddy at Stone Love. Thursday night, me deh pon Whappinz Thursdays, and Friday night, me deh Taboo," he related.
The decision to go mobile was made five years ago, given the need to increase profit margins. He bought the machine from a friend, ditching his handcart for an automated vehicle.
"All me affi do a buy gas and me good to go. Just $1,000 gas me put in, 90 [octane] gas, and me good," he said.
He indicated that persons do not stare at his mobile unit, as according to him, they are intrigued.
"Everybody just want taste it. Right now me feel like a entertainer, di way how people love the cart," the Maxfield Avenue native told the news team.