Side by side by side. That’s how the Fahnholz family operates in Southern New Jersey. Their comfort food with a twist pairs perfectly with their rich, unconventional desserts. You can’t find this food anywhere else except, of course, in their café in Neptune City. Now, the family owns one of The Best New Jersey Food Trucks, Shore Good Eat N’ Treats.
Husband and wife team Steve and Natalie Fahnholz retired from their careers five years ago. But it wasn’t long before they developed an exciting family business with their son, Stephen. Since its founding several years ago, the Shore Good Eats N’ Treats food truck has been operating every season; even in the midst of a global COVID-19 pandemic. The family is resilient to say the least, providing their many guests with their tasty food made from scratch.
“The food truck industry is a tough business, but it is also very rewarding,” says Steve. “We have learned so much and made so many new friends.”
These Eats N’ Treats Sure Are Good
Shore Good Eats N’ Treats boasts a colorful menu that satisfyingly fills your belly. None of their ingredients are ever frozen; which is obvious the moment your teeth sink into either their crispy chicken or tender beef. However, the Fahnholz family isn’t afraid to experiment; something patrons are thankful for the moment they try some meatloaf grilled cheese, for instance. Also, the gourmet eggrolls come in a variety of options and are nearly impossible to pass up.
In addition, the truck serves desserts to cap off your meal. Among the most popular are the sweet eggrolls, which are made to order and come out fresh and warm. Fan favorites, for example, include peanut butter cup, cookie dough, and apple pie.
Even during the current climate, the Fahnholzes appreciative both their loyal customers as well as the new faces they meet.
“We would also like to give a special thank you to all of our customers who have supported us since day one!” the family states. “Whether you visited us once or you are a regular customer, we truly appreciate you!”
Continue reading below to see Best of NJ’s exclusive interview with Shore Good Eats N’ Treats owner Steve Fahnholz.
The Best New Jersey Food Trucks: Shore Good Eats N’ Treats Interview
Best of NJ: What did you do before Shore Good Eats N’ Treats?
Steve Fahnholz: I was a career law enforcement officer and my wife worked in the school system with special needs children. My son, who is a partner as well, has a degree in Computer Science; but quickly developed a passion for cooking. We had been doing some catering informally for a couple of years, mostly for friends and family. My wife and I both retired from our first careers in December of 2015. We formalized our catering company under the name Creative Catering by Natalie LLC.
BONJ: What was your first year in business like?
Steve: We got our first truck in May 2016. We came up with Shore Good Eats N’ Treats so we could offer many of our catering menu options as well as our fresh made desserts. We didn’t want to be known as a one-dimensional truck. We were very worried that because we were new and no one knew us that we wouldn’t be able to get into events and the other food truck owners would just look at us as competition and wouldn’t be friendly. But once we got out there we realized it was just the opposite. All the other food truck owners were so friendly and helpful. They helped us fine tune our operation and helped us to get into events; and before long we were standing on our own two feet. The food truck industry truly is one big family, and we all help each other.
BONJ: How has your food truck evolved over the past few years?
Steve: We started out doing public events and then we started getting requests to bring our truck to private events; like birthday parties and graduations. Soon thereafter we started getting calls to do corporate events, and it has been building by leaps and bounds since. We had so many people asking where they could get our food all the time, so we decided to open a café in January of 2018 and feature our own signature breakfast and lunch items as well as menu options from the truck. There was such a demand for our truck that we just added a new truck in January .
BONJ: Does your truck’s menu change depending on the event/venue or time of year?
Steve: Yes, we do festival/event specific menus in order to best serve our customers. We have special menu options that are only available certain times of the year. For instance, our Pumpkin Cheesecake Egg Roll can only be found at festivals in the fall.
BONJ: Tell us about your desserts. Are they usually available on your truck?
Steve: Natalie’s true passion is baking. She scratch makes desserts every day and fills our bakery case and the truck with the most incredible desserts; from cookies, brownies, scones, cinnamon buns, you name it. By far, her favorite dessert to make for people are her assorted cupcakes. Try one and you’ll be hooked for sure.
BONJ: What are some popular items on your truck?
Steve: We have a few, but definitely our gourmet and dessert egg rolls and our butterfly fries with assorted toppings. We started out only doing one type of egg roll; and now, between savory and sweet, we are up to about 40 different types. Our heaping plates full of butterfly fries are also a crowd favorite. We serve them plain or with different toppings such as Jalapeno Hog or Cheesy Bacon Ranch. We have won several awards for both the egg rolls and butterfly fries.
BONJ: What can guests expect from your storefront?
Steve: Our café is a comfortable beach themed atmosphere serving large platters and overstuffed sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. It is not your average burger and sandwich place. We put a “Shore Good Twist” on everything we do; like serving our Thanksgiving Sandwich on a waffle made from our house-made stuffing. We scratch make most menu items, like our short rib, pulled pork, corned beef, turkey, mac & cheese, etc. Under normal conditions you can dine in or call in your order to grab and go.
BONJ: You have an extensive catering menu. Tell us about the different options/packages you offer and what sorts of events you cater.
Steve: Yes, it’s funny because we are constantly trying new things; and when Natalie finally feels that she has perfected it, we add it to the menu. We customize every menu for each customer based on their needs and budget. We always find a way to make it work, and that is one thing our customers love about us. We have packages for themed events, holidays, barbecues, weddings, you name it. We offer everything from pick up orders to delivery, set up, service, cleanup. We can transport food in or bring our catering trailer and cook on-site.
BONJ: What is one thing you wish you knew before you started your food truck business?
Steve: I wish someone would have told me I would be working harder than I ever have my entire life. Unless you are in the business, I really don’t think people understand how hard food truck owners work; just to make sure the quality and consistency of our products are always exceptional in order to keep customers happy. But I have to admit that seeing the smiles on their faces is very fulfilling.
BONJ: We’re off to a rocky food truck season this year (2020), but you guys are staying active. Where can guests find your truck in the coming months?
Steve: We are using one of our trucks as a satellite café in Jackson, New Jersey. We are located at 2229 West County Line Road (Corner of Villanova Avenue) in Jackson. You can visit our website and get our locations, menus, and curbside ordering instructions. We also hope the festival season is able to go forward soon; so you can visit us at some of our favorite venues, such as Laurita Winery and Monmouth Park.
BONJ: Is your restaurant offering to-go during this time?
Want to find more of The Best New Jersey Food Trucks? Then check out The Best New Jersey Food Trucks: The Complete Series.
All Photos: © Patrick Lombardi / Best of NJ