Adapting in lockdown: Greek Australian food truck owners set up shop in their driveway

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Food truck owners Angeliki Paxinos and Gabriel Kontelos were on a roll selling souvlaki and meat packs at Peakhurst Food Markets the day NSW fell under a two-week lockdown in June. 

Gabriel Kontelos co-owns Nisos Food Truck with his wife Angeliki in Glenfield and says it took him about a year to make the 2.4m x 1.8m trailer “from scratch” before they began attending markets less than two months ago. 

“About a year ago, I decided maybe I should get a trailer and start doing the same thing I started to do in Darwin,” he says. 

Kontelos says Nisos Food Truck is an extension of his parents’ former restaurant in Darwin.

Fofis Greek Kitchen, named after his mother Fofis, operated for about three years before the Kontelos family decided to move back “home” to Greece in 2018. 

“[Mum and dad] are the spinal cord of this business. Mum does the deserts and dad does the food.”

Less than a year later, the family moved back and set the food truck in motion but today find themselves confined to their driveway. 

“In the beginning, I did feel a little bit uncomfortable … but it’s just the driveway. Plus, there was no other choice … Due to coronavirus, we can’t operate anywhere else,” he says. 

Mrs. Paxinos told A Current Affair that they’ve had a lot of support from the community.

“Since we can’t travel very far, they’ve got take away food at their doorstep,” she said.

“We’ve got souvlaki, meat packs, tzatziki and pita bread, chips, and a lot of pre-ordered food.”

“When we got the approval from the council they did tell us since COVID they’ve allowed people to be trading from home.”

Mr. Kontelos echoes a similar sentiment.

“We didn’t expect the first day to have that many people … The first day we started was massive,” he says. 

He says the truck will benefit from a recent A Current Affair appearance and social media advertising. 

*Do you have a similar community story? Email us at: greek@foreignlanguage.com.au

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