Food trucks take part in Peterborough Night Market

  • Kyra Kylowenberg and Keith Murphy enjoy one of Traveling Taco’s speciaity pork tacos and nachos topped with homemade pico de gallo. —STAFF PHOTO BY JOSH LACAILLADE

  • Nicolas Papoin and wife Emily Lambert set up shop at the Peterborough Night Market to showcase their collection of French artisan breads. —STAFF PHOTO BY JOSH LACAILLADE

  • Community members line up on School Street to try out the food trucks in Peterborough. STAFF PHOTO BY JOSH LACAILLADE

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 8/15/2022 10:20:13 AM

From Mediterranean-inspired dishes to French baked goods, the Peterborough community is home to a variety of cuisines, flavor combinations and cultural history.

Traditional sit-down restaurants line the streets of downtown Peterborough, and residents are now experiencing different ways to dine thanks to food trucks and street vendors. 

Frank and Becky Ciardelli of Bubba Franks Barbecue made their first appearance at the third annual Peterborough Night Market on Friday, Aug. 12, to showcase their traditional Southern comfort food. According to Frank, his barbecue food truck and catering company is best known for its smoked brisket, pork shoulder and homestyle beans. Frank said his dream to open a food truck started at a young age growing up in Milford. 

“I grew up in a household of cooks, and cooking has always been a passion. It’s never been about the money,” said Frank.

After working in the meat department at Roy’s Market for 10 years in the 1990s, Frank and his wife Becky decided to operate a catering business known as Bubba Franks Barbecue. After years of success, the couple decided to open up a food truck this spring to bring Southern comfort food to the Peterborough community in a faster way.

Within minutes of the night market opening at 5:30 p.m., Frank said he was swarmed with hungry customers eager to try his sweet and spicy food. 

“It was incredible. I think everybody was overwhelmed, and every food truck was sold out by 9 p.m. We started serving bacon and beans because we ran out of everything else,” said Frank.

Traveling Taco is also a new addition to the Peterborough food scene. Since opening for the summer and fall season after two years of seasonal business, Rebecca Wheeler and her crew of chefs have joined the new wave of dining in town by selling tacos with a Middle Eastern and Mediterranean twist. The freshly grilled chicken and pork tacos topped with pico de gallo create a sweet and savory combination.

Before opening up shop, Wheeler spent years at the Monadnock School of Natural Cooking and Philosophy under the mentorship of Hiroshi Hayashi and his Japanese-inspired cuisine. After a lifelong career in the Peterborough restaurant industry, Wheeler decided to open her own food truck with a mission to spread happiness, one plate at a time. 

“I’m inspired by all types of food,” said Wheeler. “I like simple and clean ingredients inspired by Mexican cuisine.” 

Wheeler said the turnout at Friday’s night market exceeded her expectations.

“It was a big night. We knew there was going to be big crowds, I was happy it was a successful event for everybody,” said Wheeler. 

Local street vendors are also making their way into Peterborough’s food scene. Peterborough-based Les Bonnes Miches set up shop on Friday to showcase a collection of artisan breads inspired by French cuisine. Owner Nicolas Papoin moved to Peterborough in 2019 from the town of Brittany on the northwest coast of France to pursue his passion for baking. Every day, Papoin wakes up at 4 a.m. to hand-craft sourdough bread in a variety of flavors. One of his most popular, yet simple, sourdough recipes consists of only pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and a drizzle of olive oil. 

Papoin said he was inspired to start his own business after growing up on French cuisine. 

“I used to eat bread all the time in France, and I decided to make my own recipe,” said Papoin.

Papoin baked 60 loaves of sourdough in preparation for Friday’s event. His wife Emily Lambert said she is proud to see Papoin’s hard work in the kitchen pay off.

“We are always sold out,” said Lambert. “It really started with the interest in making fresh bread daily.”

By 9 p.m., hundreds of hungry community members had wiped out nearly every food truck and vendor on School Street, including Bubba Franks, Traveling Taco, Totally Thai Food, Les Bonnes Miches, Becky’s Pies and Desserts and Little Charlotte’s Kettle Corn. 

Chaz Babb, co-owner of Little Charlotte’s Kettle Corn, said local markets are a great way for food businesses to feel connected in the community.

“We feel more together when we do small town events,” said Babb. 


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