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Feel Good Food serves up American comfort food to the CSRA

August 26, 2018

Aiken’s first food truck that operates on a daily basis is all about fresh ingredients and a flexible menu.

Feel Good Food was started by Christian and Molly Schumann. Their commissary on Richland Avenue not only provides sit-down eating options for their food truck customers, but also provides rental space for budding local food businesses.

“What we kind of want this place to be is people starting up these small businesses where everything is made from scratch,” Christian said. “This is not a property where you’re going to see a Sysco truck pull up and dump a bunch of pre-made food off. Everybody’s doing everything from scratch. It’s something we need badly in this town, something that’s not just in a bag and here, heat this up.”

Christian and Molly worked in the food industry in Aiken for years. At first they dreamed of starting their own restaurant, but that dream transformed into something a bit more unique.

“Why don’t I get somewhere bigger that has indoor seating?” Christian said. “Since we’re a town that doesn’t really understand food trucks yet, I figured I can offer them exactly what a restaurant could offer them, but they can get into it a little slower, not just, oh, we have to go track the food truck down.”

Feel Good Food’s menu changes occasionally as Christian experiments with new recipes and ideas, but for the most part, they serve American comfort food. Popular items on the menu include burgers, fried mac and cheese, beer-battered fries, sandwiches and salads.

“If you want something and we have the ingredients, we’ll make it for you,” said Molly. “We want people to leave here happier than they came in.”

The Feel Good Food Truck, which was formerly The Willcox truck, is a full-on commercial kitchen. While the Schumanns take the truck to concerts and other commercial events, such as the Aiken Bluegrass Festival (which the Schumanns host), the truck can usually be found at the Feel Good Food commissary at 1031 Richland Ave.

The commissary is constantly changing and growing. It is a mix-match of dining room furniture donated from friends and new items the Schumanns buy. In contains a variety of games set up for customers’ children.

“Anytime we have family in from out of town, we bring them here,” said customer Dwayne Ligons. “It’s something kind of out of the box. It pretty awesome.”

The commissary is also home to several local food businesses starting up in Aiken, such as Aiken Ice Cream. Smoking Guns BBQ, which can often be found at horse races, also sells food at the commissary out of a classic-style ice cream trailer. Stellar Kitchen and a small-batch honey packager also use the commissary.

“People ask us why we’re comfortable with having competition here, but it’s not like that,” Molly said. “It’s like downtown, a microcosm of business owners that benefits everyone.”

Molly said her favorite part of running Feel Good Food is watching the commissary evolve and getting to witness a community grow from it.

“You’re not sitting down and spending $20, you’re spending $12-$15 and walking away with more of a community atmosphere, where you run into people and it’s not a formal environment,” Christian said.

The Schumanns hope to expand their businesses. Their commissary is BYOB and occasionally hosts special events. They are also looking into ideas for future events such as a Fortnight game night.

To learn more about Feel Good Food, including the full menu, visit feelgoodfoodtrucks.com or call 803-640-9287.

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