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ST CROIX — For over twenty years, Corine’s Food Service Van in downtown Christiansted has been serving up a medley of Caribbean delicacies with a smile to the St. Croix community. What started as a labor of love from the humble workings of an at-home kitchen grew into a burgeoning food truck business. Corine Dopwell started cooking in the early 1980s, selling her delicious plates from her home. Thanks to her diligence, she saved up enough to purchase a food truck to function as the home base for the business. In the early 1990s, Dopwell parked under the mango tree near the covered bus stop in the residential Water Gut neighborhood.

Today, Corine’s Food Truck is operated by her grandson, Michael Douglas. Originally from Trinidad, Douglas recalls vacations with his grandmother and helping her in the kitchen. “I can remember a vacation to St. Vincent being one of the first times being around her, always in the kitchen,” said Douglas. “I like being around food, and I stuck with her, cooking and learning everything possible.” In 2000, Douglas moved to St. Croix after completing high school in Trinidad and began working at the van with his grandmother. During his time under her training, he would work in other notable kitchens on St. Croix. “I always knew I could cook and learning the different techniques in these restaurants helped me to sharpen those essential skills my grandmother instilled in me.”

When Corine retired from the kitchen, Douglas fell into place and has been running the van on his own since 2020. Through it all, he is committed to carrying on his grandmother’s legacy through her van. This is done through the preparation of dishes Grandmother Corine has made for over 20 years. When someone mentions Corine Food Truck, they usually praise the assortment of vegetarian and seafood dishes available. Douglas continues to prepare the ever-popular stuffed lobster plate. “I can’t ever stop making that dish,” he said, “because people will lose their minds!” Other popular dishes include the stuffed salmon, pot fish and fungi, conch in butter sauce, and roti. Most plates are accompanied by a serving of their specialty rice, mixed veggies, your choice of corn or lentils and a small salad. They also offer various local drinks like passion fruit, tamarind, ginger and turmeric, and sorrel. In addition to the delicious food at Corine’s Food Service Van, patrons are sure to receive impeccable service with a smile. “I love what I do and love seeing people happily enjoying their meals.”

Corine’s Food Service Van is open Monday through Friday from 11am to 2pm, or when food is sold out. Find them by using Google Maps for turn-by-turn directions to the van’s location in Water Gut. Pro tip: Call ahead to place your order to avoid the extremely long lines that form during lunchtime. For more information or to place your order, call 340.244.3332.

Written by Anquanette Gaspard