Food trucks have been all the rage these past few years. But simply riding the wave of a successful food venture isn’t Nomad Surf Shop’s style. In May, they opened their “surf shack on wheels” and are already carving themselves a spot in South Florida’s culinary culture.
With a fluid menu of clean options, Nomad Surf Juice and Coffee is bringing something new to A1A. “The idea just came about because there’s not much on A1A,” said Nomad owner Ryan Heavyside. “My dad thought I was a bit crazy because we’re in retail and the food business is a whole other thing. But then he saw the vibe of what’s going on, and now he hits the truck almost every day. This is just an extension of the surf vibe we have.”
Family-owned in Boynton Beach for nearly 50 years, Nomad Surf Shop has helped shape the South Florida surf culture. “There is a lack of surf, but I think that’s where you get more of that stoke factor where people really have to look for surf or chase surf,” described Heavyside.
“Even if it’s just barely rideable in Florida, you’re gonna get the person that’s just happy to get out there.”
He continued, “With us being here since ‘68, we’ve kind of drawn the surf community to us. We’ve recently been doing pop up shops where it brings in local surf artists so it’s not just your sponsored, retail brand event. It’s a little more unique and draws everybody who’s trying to build the surf community around us.”
That love for community is what pushed Heavyside to hone in on the details of Nomad Surf Juice and Coffee. Teaming up with Robert Malone, who once had his hands in the kitchen of Delray Beach’s 32 East, they built a menu that would attract all types of crowds and allow them to grow.
From green juices and kombucha to classic french press coffee and avocado toast, the organic menu offers variety. With the acai bowls garnering the most attention, they’re looking to build from there, keeping items light. And to top it off, all of the produce is bought from local farmers and distributors.
Heavyside said, “It allows us to promote healthy eating. We all get so busy, it’s sometimes hard to find and chase it down so more or less, we created it.”
As for the truck itself, there’s more to it than what meets the eye driving by. Heavyside explained, “We tried to style it like a cafe on wheels with the half surfboards and the walnut countertops. It’s cool when people check it out and get a visual – it tells someone a story.”
Now, the next step is to take that story on the road. A major perk of Surf Juice and Coffee is mobility. In the future, Heavyside hopes to take the truck to surf competitions (fun fact: they also sell small surf accessories, including wax) and festivals.
But whether you go for their sweet Nomad Bowl filled with fresh fruit, granola, coconut flakes and more, the punch of a super healthy wheatgrass shot or even a cup of coffee (they use Jupiter-local Pumphouse Coffee Roasters), there is something about sitting on the side of Florida’s oceanside road and simply hanging out.
It’s a reminder to pause for a second. As cars drive by, you can just sit, enjoy something refreshing on a hot day and appreciate where we live.
Take a peek behind the scenes:
Featured image by Emily Creighton
Videography by Kiki Baxter
Video Editing by Kiki Baxter & Alexis Paige