New food truck owner Nia Foreman, BBA ’23, is no stranger to entrepreneurship.
“You know how you’d go into a small, family-owned restaurant and you’d see a little kid working? That was me and my siblings growing up,” Foreman says.
Motivated by her parents’ entrepreneurial work ethic and armed with a degree in entrepreneurship and innovation management from the Fox School of Business, Foreman opened “The Patty Wagon” on Temple University’s Main Campus shortly after the start of the spring semester.
Her parents, Jamaican immigrants, own and operate Caribbean Feast Cuisine, a restaurant and catering company located near Temple University Hospital, as well as several food trucks across Philadelphia. Foreman recalls how working at her parents' restaurant fueled her passion for entrepreneurship at a young age.
“It was very inspiring to see my parents as successful entrepreneurs,” she says. “That’s where I got my drive to study entrepreneurship and innovation at Temple.”
Working near Temple’s campus, Foreman’s familiarity with the university and her commitment to achieving her parents’ dream of their children graduating college made choosing Temple an easy decision.
“You hear people say, ‘Why would you go to college for entrepreneurship?’ I already had so much work experience going into college, but it was such an eye-opener for me to develop corporate understanding and learn from the professors and other entrepreneurs in my classes,” says Foreman.
During her SGM 3503 class with assistant professor Dwight Carey, Foreman developed an idea for a Jamaican food truck called “The Patty Wagon.”
“I knew I wanted to do something separate from my parents, and this was my opportunity to create an idea in class and use the semester to actually orchestrate everything,” she says. “When I presented my idea in class and everyone thought it was great, I thought, ‘I’m actually going to do this.’”
Foreman and her parents had already applied for a food truck spot at Temple University and been placed on a two-year waiting list. By the time her graduation date arrived in May 2023, she had developed a concept and business plan, and quickly after, purchased and designed a food truck with Jamaican-inspired colors.
According to Foreman, “The Patty Wagon” menu will consist of traditional Jamaican food platters, tacos and a variety of patties—a staple Jamaican pastry that contains various fillings and spices—and more. Food is prepared at their brick-and-mortar location by Temple University Hospital and transported to the truck.
“You're getting a fresh, homemade meal from our restaurant of 20 years. Now we're putting a food truck in the heart of campus, to be more accessible,” explains Foreman. “You can definitely expect homemade, fresh, hot food every single day, and a taste of authentic Caribbean food that you would not be able to get anywhere else.”
As an alumna, Foreman is eager for the Temple community to embrace “The Patty Wagon.”
“The Temple community is so accepting of and excited by things that are different,” she says. “I really appreciate Temple students coming into the city and being able to learn and taste different foods—that's what Philadelphia is all about.
“There's such a big Caribbean diaspora in Philadelphia, so just to be able to support our Caribbean, Jamaican, and even the African community, by having something different and fresh, homemade by the hands of people who were born in the Caribbean, is surreal.”