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going greek at partovi's gyros and falafel
story and photo by Shaila Creekmore

Yet another first comes to town with the opening of Partovi’s Gyros and Falafel food truck located on South Main Street in Downtown Jonesboro.

Located in the parking lot just north of Brickhouse Grill, Daniyal Partovi and Kori Garner opened the concession style food trailer on July 5 serving a selection of Greek style food.

“I feel like we definitely brought a different kind of food service to Jonesboro,” said Garner. “It’s fast food, but the quality is like that of a sit-down restaurant.”

Both graduates of Arkansas State University, Garner grew up in Wynne and graduated with degrees in both business administration and Spanish, and Partovi was raised in Copenhagen, Denmark, and graduated with a radiology technician degree. The young couple first met in a cell phone store where Partovi worked. “I joke that I went in to buy a new cell phone and walked out
with a boyfriend,” said Garner.

The couple quickly knew that they wanted to be business owners and began working toward that goal by first creating a grocery delivery service while working at other jobs to put money back toward purchasing a food truck.

“We always wanted to do Greek [food],” said Garner. “We knew how to cook it, we knew it was different and we knew it was something Jonesboro didn’t have.”

A friend of Partovi offered to sell the couple a concession trailer and train them for the business. Garner and Partovi learned how to open and close each day, about temperature control and proper food storage, food cost and pricing of their products. “I have done a lot of cramming for tests in my life,” said Garner. “But this was like no test I had ever studied for – we learned so much in such a short period of time.”

The couple then had to find a place to setup the food truck and began looking at various locations across town and continued to run into issues with lease regulations.

“The hardest part of this whole process was finding a location,” said Garner. “We called Kent Arnold to get some advice and to see if he knew of any property and he said we would have to talk to someone who owns [property] privately,” said Garner. “He got us in touch with Clay Young who showed us the parking lot. He loved the idea of the food truck and putting in something different.”

The next challenge was meeting health code inspections and getting clearance for six permits to open the food truck. Garner said the process was challenging because no one has set up a food truck as a permanent establishment in the area before now.

“It’s a challenge to store and prepare food in a trailer that is one-tenth
of the size of a normal restaurant,” said Garner. “We have to have everything that a restaurant has and we are scaled all the way down. We have to constantly figure out how much we need to have on hand and how much to have stocked in our two mini fridges inside the trailer and then our full-size fridge and freezer.”

One of the most important items they must have ready to cook are the lamb combs that are kept frozen until ready to be cooked in an open rotisserie, where the meat is slowly shaved as it cooks from