An Akron couple’s love affair with food and cooking up Jamaican fare will be the main dishes this weekend at Akron’s NoHi Pop-Up kitchen.
International Jerk is a popular food truck in the Akron area that has been serving up dishes typically found in a Jamaican jerk taco truck in larger U.S. cities since 2019.
Curtis and Chanell Humphrey, who met and were married at the Akron Masjid after a three-month courtship in 2017, say they have taken the takeout taco concept and added a “soulful” twist to menu items that include mild or spicy chicken served with cheese, cilantro and onions.
The food truck also is known for its jerk chicken served over nachos.
Curtis said his love for jerk tacos came during his travels to Chicago, where such food trucks are popular.
After tinkering with recipes with family and friends as taste testers, they first began selling the tacos from their backyard.
They were then able to scrape together enough money to purchase “Jimmy the Jerk Wagon” that debuted in July 2020 on South Main Street outside of Akron Masjid, where the couple’s story began.
The couple says they plan to continue operating the food truck this summer and hope to garner more fans this weekend as they dish up their blend of Caribbean spice and Latin flavors.
Eventually, they hope to be able to franchise the concept and even stock their jerk sauce and frozen items in area stores.
The North Hill Community Development Corp. took over the kitchen of the former Mexico City Restaurant — before that the Office City Tavern — at 778 N. Main St. and once a week invites a new budding chef and menu to take over the place and offer food for the weekend.
Any money left over after expenses is given to the guest chef.
International Jerk will be open for business from noon to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday, with all dishes to-go only amid the pandemic.
To order, call 234-231-1645 or visit www.northakroncdc.org/nohi as early as Wednesday.
Craig Webb can be reached at [email protected]