Meet John Scott and his Famous Food Truck “Fatso’s Cheketos”
Interview by Jim Teece
John Scott is the owner of “Fatso’s Cheketos” a Keto Food Truck at 807 South Central in Medford.
He’s typically there from 11 to 3:30 Monday through Friday and when he’s not there it’s because he is out doing a catering job somewhere.
That location has been his permanent location for the last two years. He started the business just before the pandemic shutdown and hasn’t looked back.
While restaurants were closed for the pandemic, he enjoyed success in a food truck.
I met John over Zoom and asked him a few questions about how he got into the business and what brought him to Southern Oregon.
“When I started the truck, I was only doing the truck on the weekend. I was an IT tech at the Rogue Valley Manor. But cooking has always been my passion. Ever since I was a little kid, I used to work in restaurants when I was younger, and then I went back to school for electronics. So I did electronics for years and years and years. And then when I moved here to Southern Oregon, still doing electronics, I got the bug to cook again. Around the same time I became keto. And I found out there were a lot of people in the area that were Keto and there was really nowhere to actually go get true keto food… low carb, no sugar.”
“At first, I had switched my IT job from Monday to Thursday doing four tens. I was running the truck Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and it was doing great. And then it got to the point where I I couldn’t continue to do the truck and work at the manor because the truck was taking off. And that was my passion anyway. So I talked to the manor and they were they were good about it. They understood and I’m still here. And it’s growing. It’s growing every day.”
He and his wife moved to Medford in 2013 from Portland. She’s a respiratory therapist and was transferred to Medford to open up and manage an office. It was easy for him to find work in IT. He started at the school district before making his way to the Rogue Valley Manor. They rented at first and then decided to stay, so they built their house and never looked back.
When the bug for cooking came back, he knew he had to open his own restaurant. “I just didn’t want to go work for anyone else because of the way I was cooking. I like to be very creative in the kitchen.”
“It’s all about the Keto lifestyle. There’s no one else here in Medford, actually no one in Oregon that does what I do.”
John is passionate about KETO and proudly shows how it changed his life. “I don’t even call KETO a diet, I just call it a different way of eating. It’s a different healthy lifestyle. And there’s more and more people that are starting to do it because it helps with diabetes, lupus, sleep apnea… so many ailments besides losing weight. And I’m not just a person who cooks keto, I actually live that lifestyle. I put that out there a couple of weeks ago on a Keto blog that I’m on, to let people know what I looked like before and what I look like now. “
“It’s been a great journey. I have one customer that comes in from Yreka at least twice a week. She’s been with me from day one. She’s my success story. She’s lost roughly 114 pounds since she’s been with my food truck. It’s awesome. So it’s not just actually running a business, it’s more of being able to make people aware of eating healthy. And the reviews, I get the people coming back the next day and from word of mouth. I even have some clinics and doctors that send their patients to our truck. It’s quite rewarding.”
I asked him how many employees he has and what the food trucks are like.
“It’s just me and my wife. She’s actually still doing respiratory therapy and she’s also a Keto coach. She’s working on teaching people how to eat healthy by putting them on meal plans.”
“I have two food trucks. I started with a yellow truck. That was the first one I bought. And I have this green one now. This new truck used to belong to the franchise on Shark Tank, called My Cousin’s Maine Lobster. I got it out of California. This truck is fully equipped. I mean, it even has two televisions on the outside. It’s like a serious sports bar restaurant on wheels. It has a built in Cummins generator, which is powerful enough to run three houses and it’s quiet. It’s also quite a sight to see on the inside.”
Our interview was via Zoom and he proudly walked me around his Big Green Truck. It’s covered in logos from all the shows and channels the truck has been on from Shark Tank, Oprah Winfrey, NBC, CNN and many more. “I see people taking pictures of the truck all the time. It’s been pretty cool.”
“A lot of my catering jobs have just been from word of mouth. The Millionaire hanger at the Airport reached out to me for their Christmas party and I catered their Christmas party and then the Medford airport heard how great the food was. And they reached out to me and I catered the Medford airport Christmas party. Business has just been growing and like this coming up weekend. I’m catering a youth hockey tournament. The week after that I’m catering a competition. It’s been growing and it’s really busy.
“I have my challenges, you know, like anything. Weather is a challenge. But I have DoorDash and Grubhub. So that kind of covers a lot of that. People don’t want to come out in the rain and so forth. So GrubHub and DoorDash helps with that side of the finances coming in. The biggest challenge I think I’ve seen is to be honest, with not just food trucks, but restaurants in general. The price of food skyrocketed. I mean, through the roof. In six months my food costs have doubled.
Yeah. And that’s on everything. The biggest challenge right now that’s hitting everybody is the lack of being able to get food and the food cost. I’ve seen a lot of other food trucks not open or they shut down early. Because of the food availability. What makes me a little different, is my truck is not just one option, I take everyone’s favorite foods, and I create them on my truck. So I do have a set menu. But I add specials every week. If our suppliers out of something I will make do with what they have and create a meal. My customers love it. They always ask, “what’s going to be the special next week?” I also have a hidden item menu. And it makes me feel good. I have customers who will come up to the truck. “John, can I get the hidden item menu?”, and not even knowing what it is or what it costs but they’ll buy it? It’s like Chef’s Choice. The chef special.”
“Another reason that I decided to change my way of eating to this lifestyle is I’m the youngest of nine. I’m originally from Texas and you know, that’s just unhealthy eating in general there. My parents and a couple of my siblings, have dealt with high blood pressure and diabetes and I’ve lost family members and siblings to diabetes. “
“I didn’t want that. I didn’t want that to follow me. So that’s one of the reasons I changed my lifestyle. My eating lifestyle.”
807 S Central Ave, Medford, OR 97501
This is an excellent idea that I hope will catch on all over the country. Did you ever think about selling as a franchise? Not enough fast Keto options out there.
Would love to franchise.