Unique Eats mobile restaurant opens

Unique Eats held their ribbon cutting ceremony with Chamber of Commerce and Shelby City officials on Wednesday at the Johnstowne Mall. The owners (middle) are Laura Uphoff and Shannan Blackmon - John Curtis photo

There is now a unique way to eat in Shelbyville.

Unique Eats, a mobile restaurant, had a Grand Opening in Shelbyville on Wednesday at Johnstowne Mall.

After serving breakfast and lunch, with unique entrees, the business held its official ribbon cutting ceremony complete with Greater Shelbyville Area Chamber of Commerce members and Shelbyville City Clerk Rachel Wallace.

Laura Uphoff and Shannan Blackmon started in catering about a year ago with no restaurant location or food truck.

"She had a dream and I had a dream," Uphoff said. "We thought about a bakery or a coffee shop.

"But we also wanted to include sandwiches," Blackmon said. "We just got led into a different direction."

Some would say a "unique" direction. There are no other "everyday" food trucks in Shelbyville. There may be food trucks in Shelbyville or around the lake on special occasions, but not serving breakfast and lunch every day.

Uphoff managed Pizza Hut at one time and Blackmon cooked at Shelby Memorial Hospital and was an assistant manager in dietary at Shelbyville Manor.

"I have a passion for cooking and coming up with menu items that are tasty and you wouldn't think of," Blackmon said.

Unique Eats will be in different locations off of Main Street in Shelbyville and in addition to their regular menu, will have a unique entree for breakfast and lunch every day. Opening day they featured a "French Toast Sandwich" and for lunch was the "Troublemaker." They feature veggie wraps, a popular pizza wrap, a 'Hawaii 5-0" wrap and other sandwiches.

On Friday, they will be at the Downtown Mini-Park, starting with breakfast from 6-9 a.m. and then lunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Check Facebook or stop by to see their unique selections for that day. They were slammed from noon to 1 p.m. on opening day, so come a little early for lunch.

They expect Fridays and Saturdays to be their biggest days. They will be open Wednesday through Saturday and are considering at every other Sunday.

Unique Eats is faith-based and is looking for their business to be a blessing to Shelbyville.

"We don't want it to be 100% about us. We want to give back to the community," Blackmon said. "I was a needy family at one time, a single mom. I want to do the same things for others that was done for me. We want to feed people on Thanksgiving and adopt families at Christmas. We even talked about a soup kitchen. If someone is having a fundraiser for a family member or a benefit we'd like to help."

All of their food is made with fresh ingredients. They buy all their meat from Wade's Meat Market and eventually would like to get their produce from local farmers. They didn't want to step on any toes, so they try to stay away from competing directly with other restaurants and their specialties.

'We veer away from sandwiches and meals that the community already has in other restaurants," Uphoff said."

Uphoff and Blackmon started from scratch. They did their catering food prep at the venues they catered. They catered Christmas parties and a wedding for 140 people. They invested in the truck, which was just a shell.

"My husband Steve (Blackmon) built the whole inside,' Shannan said. "He put in the walls, the floors, the equipment. Ray Calantoni put in our water. My husband has been a factory worker and a fabricator, so he thinks out of the box and can fix anything."

As they moved through the system of getting certified in town, it was a "unique" experience for the officials.

"We confused everybody, cause we are a food trailer,' Uphoff said. "We got licensed through the health department, but Jeff (Houska) said, 'we'll have to get the book out.' The city said they were going to have to look at coming up with ordinances."

In addition to locations along Main Street, Unique eats will be at "Food Truck Fridays" on July 12 at HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital. "Food Truck Fridays is something extra the hospital is doing for their employees and the public and 10% of the proceeds are going to United Way.

Unique Eats has been courted by Cowden Pioneer Days. They are looking at being uptown for Scarecrow Daze and plan to be at the Haunted Trails. Search for them on Facebook.

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