Imtisenla, the 36-year-old owner of Mokokchung’s first food truck, Arok Foodies, rejects the notion that her venture is driven by greed, emphasizing instead the importance of work ethics.
Expressing her message for the younger generation, she believes in the value of hard work, asserting that respect is earned through diligence, regardless of the scale of the task.
“I believe that no matter whether the job is big or small, we should not be lazy but focus on working hard. We earn respect by working hard,” said Imtisen.
Mokokchung is now witnessing its first-ever food truck – Arok Foodies – operational from 5 pm to 12 midnight and will continue to oprate beyond the festive season. Yes, Imtisenla intends to establish this business as a permanent fixture in Mokokchung, drawing inspiration from the street foods of City Tower, Dimapur, and citing the Juicy Belt owner as a key motivator.
“The Juicy Belt owner from Dimapur was my biggest encouragement. Other than food, I did not have much idea about juices and other beverages, but it was them that encouraged me and helped me with the idea of a juice machine and all,” she said.
Facing personal challenges and financial strains, Imtisenla’s food truck finally opened its doors this December. Positioned at Arkong Ward, near HDFC bank, she originally planned to set up in the main town area but altered the location due to an ongoing carnival, following recommendations from the MMC. Despite the alteration, the food truck encountered minimal hindrances, successfully selling out on the first and second days, with exceptional performance on the third.
“By God’s grace, everything is going so well,” Imtisenla acknowledged, expressing gratitude for the positive feedback received from customers.
Before venturing into the food truck business with her sister Abenla, Imtisenla assisted her mother’s fish business since high school and later received culinary training. The food truck boasts a diverse menu, featuring dishes ranging from prawns chili to octopus, complemented by various beverages. Imtisenla plans to maintain variety by offering different menu items on different nights to keep patrons engaged.
Managing the operations with her sister and three others, she added that she wishes to hire more staff as she is now struggling to handle two kitchen shifts—one at home and another at the truck.
Regarding how supportive the community has been, she said, “Everyone has been quite supportive, although some tend to say, “don’t be too greedy,” a social perception she says is “a problem we have in society.”
“As long as we work hard, there is respect, and we should encourage one another to work hard,” she added.
She went on to say that a business like hers will be beneficial to Mokokchung town as it can also somehow generate employment. “I can only hope that more and more youngsters will join this venture instead of staying unemployed,” stated Imtisenla, optimistic about the positive impact of her food truck on the local community.