With a background in hospitality, the owners of The Mason Jar in Carnarvon say they love to serve people.

Tara and Andrew Schroeder are doing just that as of April 22, at the home of the former Lola’s food truck at Hwy. 35 and 118.

They’ve themed their newly-minted venture ‘spreading joy with food’ with Andrew referencing “the beautiful colours in the food, the beautiful flavours.

“We love bringing joy through the food, and the service that we’re giving… the thankfulness, the smiling faces, people coming up and saying ‘that was amazing’.”

Since purchasing the food truck effective March 1, the two have been busy. They’ve put wood siding on the vehicle, added an awning, picnic tables with umbrellas, two small smokers out back, and even painted lines for parking spaces. They’ve also rebranded it The Mason Jar. It’s got curb appeal.

Tara said they wanted people driving by to notice “a very relaxed vibe.” She and Andrew use words like “simple” and “elevated elegant. Not crazy colours, other than our food,” Andrew adds. “We like our vibrant beautiful pops of colour but for curb appeal, it’s black and white, with nice wood.”

Tara has been coming to the area for years, as her grandparents owned Shalom-by-theLake on Halls Lake. Her parents now own it and she still helps out. That’s why she and Andrew moved back to the area.

They had been in Orillia and Andrew worked as head chef at Fair Havens Camp and Conference Centre in Beaverton. Tara also worked there in a number of capacities. It’s where they met and married a year later.

Andrew says, “we work great together as long as there is that definitive line, ‘this is mine, this is yours’ but when that is there,we work amazingly.”

Andrew worked in kitchens in Niagara Falls, and was recently the regional chef for Boshkung Smokehouse and Boshkung Social.

The new venture came about when they noticed the food truck, and its location, when they moved back to the area. “We loved it.”

Earlier this year, they reached out to then owner, Lori Glenn, to say if she ever wanted to sell, they would be interested. The deal was done quickly.

It’s been long hours since. In addition to the rebrand and curb appeal, the two have been challenged to strike a menu that resonates with a lot of people.

There’s smoked meats and smash burgers, but they wanted to please the herbivores as well. So, there are things such as power bowls.

Since it is a two-person operation for now, they have also crafted an “efficient” menu, to get “delicious and beautiful” meals out the window fairly quickly.

They would like to find one additional staff person but were still looking as of April 19. Andrew said a candidate does not have to have experience, but must be willing to learn, have drive, and not be afraid of being busy. Tara adds they want someone with a positive attitude.

They also want to maintain consistent hours.

And it isn’t just the human customers they hope to cater for. There is a cannister of dog treats near the register and water bowls are placed outside so fido can experience the ‘spreading of joy with food’ too.

The Mason Jar is at 15436 Hwy. 35. You can find them at themasonjar.ca; facebook.com/themasonjarfoodcompany; at themasonjarfoodco@gmail.com; or 1-705-826-6527.