Joanne Saunders started her food truck, Jo Jo's Chuck Stop (2102 Janitell Road, 491-3952), out of necessity — most of her customers are drivers for her husband's trucking company, Carefree Heavy Haul, where she worked for 12 years.
"There's nothing down there for truckers and other businesses in the area," she says. Since August 2016, she's been serving them breakfasts, burgers and Southwestern dishes — all with trucking-themed names, from the Trail King, a breakfast burrito, to the Peterbilt, her burger. Her truck and her schedule don't move around much. Her emphasis is on that core diner-base. She's been doing early morning breakfast at nearby Bestway Disposal, but that's about it.
Born in Germany to an Army family, Saunders grew up in the Springs, living in Security/Widefield and now on the Westside.
"I love to travel, I've been to a lot of places, but I'll always call this home," she says.
Between 1995 and 2002, Saunders worked for Western Omelette, eventually leaving to work for Carefree. But after her kids grew up, she found office life dull and returned to Western Omelette, working in a kitchen from 2014 until launching her truck.
"It took me a long time to figure out that this is what I want to do, I want to cook," she says. Her relationship with Western Omelette is still cordial — they're her commissary right now. But she's not serving their green chile. Her recipe uses Pueblo peppers from local farmers markets.
"I didn't want to change the flavor, so I stocked up on them," says Saunders. She later found a year-round seller in Denver, though once the growing season starts, she plans on buying peppers, lettuce and tomatoes from farmers markets once again.