by Rosalind Brazel
On June 19, Marination Mobile celebrated its 10th anniversary with a few hundred of its closest friends. The packed parking lot full of revelers outside of Columbia City’s Super Six was treated to Marination’s well-crafted sliders and tacos.
The event was also a fund raiser for Jubilee Women’s Center. Guests could use the photo booth and try a beer by Stoup Brewing. One attendee who purchased the lucky raffle ticket won free tacos for year.
For co-owners Kamala Saxton and Roz Edison, it’s been quite a run to get to this moment. Initially, they had the struggles of most start-ups: financing, regulations, learning about generators, taxes, and technology. Saxton and Edison had to overcome these challenges, but there was no playbook.
When they started, it was well before the food truck industry was even a twinkle in Seattle’s eye. They had a unique concept of not just what goes between the tortilla and bun, but also what happens to the ingredients before the truck is even fired up. The flavorful marination this food requires is among the most complex prep in the city. The miso-ginger chicken, Kalbi beef, spicy pork, and Kalua pork are the staples of a Hawaii-Korean fusion.
Seattle responded. The popularity of Marination Mobile fueled the expansion of the food truck to a brick and mortar. Now, there are four locations, but the truck, affectionately called Big Blue, is still rolling 10 years later. They serve tacos and sliders with succulent and flavorful proteins topped with tangy slaw. Sides include Kimchi fried rice, macaroni salad, and tots. Lumpia and several specialty dishes round out their streamlined and focused menu.
In addition to their unique food, they are most proud of the connections and roots they have been able to foster in the community, with staff and with local organizations and non-profits. They believe their business is tough and it’s a proud moment to celebrate this 10-year milestone.
Saxton and Edison’s advice for someone just starting out in the food truck or restaurant business? Seek mentors and then listen to them. Be willing to work really, really, really hard for years and be ready to pivot your business to meet market needs. Stay humble, be grateful and make sure you take care of your staff.
Up next for Marination Mobile they want to continue to deepen their roots in the community and with staff. In June of 2029 they look forward to celebrating Marination’s 20-year anniversary.
Featured Image: Co-owners Kamala Saxton and Roz Edison celebrate Marination’s 10-year anniversary at an event to benefit Jubilee Women’s Center. (Photo: Alex Garland)