Nydia Velez said she has always had a connection and passion with food.
“I’ve always loved food,” he said, “since I was little.”
He said he always watches Food Network and has fond memories of watching his mom and grandma cooking. He said he lost his mother at the age of 12 and learned to cook on his own after that.
Therefore, he said that he always dreamed of opening a food truck. But Velez and her husband Carlos didn’t decide to do so until four years ago in 2018, when they had their youngest son, Jaizion.
Thus was born Munchies on the Run, his family’s food truck. The Munchies are currently located at the Harris Grocery Store in Bunnell from 10am to 3pm weekdays and travel through Flagler, Putnam and Volusia Counties for events.
Velez said the food truck officially opened for business in November 2022. He said they hoped to open earlier, but staffing and supply issues following the COVID-19 outbreak have slowed the process.
The Munchies have hit a few bumps along the way, but over the past few months they’ve had positive reactions from their community on social media.
“It was great,” he said. “I got people to follow me wherever I was.”
Velez said he shared the time location on Run’s Facebook page, Munchies.
Their trucks carry a variety of French fries plates, from a standard beef and cheese to a pizza empanada and topped with lots of toppings, empanadas, and breakfast sandwiches like the “Belly Buster,” among other fillings.
They also provide food and drink. Velez said they don’t have many opportunities to do so as they are newly opened.
He said the main focus of Munchies is good, fun food. Velez said the most popular items are french fries and empanadas. Finally, Velez said he wanted to include more Latin American flavors in their menu.
For now they try to make their meals fun and interesting with unique recipes like pizza empanadas. His crazy fries, for example, come with cheese, chicken, bacon, hot dogs, mayonnaise, ketchup, and sour cream, but they’re also customizable, he said.
“I wanted some fun food,” Velez said.
Nydia’s husband, Carlos Velez, works with her at Munchies. She said they were sitting for a long time trying not to eat extra food.
“We want fresh things,” he said, “so we try not to overdo it. If we sell, we sell.”
Carlos Velez has a history of commercial ownership – he said the couple had lived on the Palm Coast for 15 years and only worked for someone else for two years at the time.
Although he now owns a landscaping company, Velez said he tried his hand at a restaurant in Bunnell a few years ago. He said the food truck was a better idea for him because of the versatility.
“You can at least travel with a food truck,” he said. “If you have taste, [people] they will follow.”
Velez said he was proud of his wife for the work she did – she’s not normally one to take chances, he said, and encouraged her to take the lead in Munchies.
“It was very positive this time,” he said. “I let him do what he was going to do.”
Nydia Velez said the biggest advantage is flexibility. She said she worked as a medical assistant until 2018, but quit when her youngest child was born to focus on family. Now, working at the food truck allows them to spend more time with their families, even while keeping track of events.
Velez said that Munchies is really a family affair. Velez said 12-year-old Elijah wants to be involved in any way he can for his children, from deciding on the name he chose to helping clean the house while their parents operate the truck.
“They always want leftovers,” said Carlos Velez.
Nydia Velez said that for now they are focused on getting their name heard, being consistent and reaching out to events and people who may not know who they are yet. Carlos Velez said the key to a good job is to go out and show your face.
“It’s not how you started for me,” he said. “This is how you finish the job.”