November 30, 2016 was a lucky day for Martin Lacroix and Joel Larocque, owners of the Fabulous Fries Food Truck at the corner of Almonte and Christian Streets in Almonte. On that date, while on a US holiday, they visited the set of the Price is Right in Hollywood California, as audience members.
While in line, they were interviewed and to their surprise, Martin was chosen from the audience as a contestant. The Price is Right is a popular American television quiz show in which contestants must guess the retail value of a basket of goods which could include modest items such as ladies’ accessories or major items like SUV’s and vacations. Martin successfully won 4 rounds including the totally random wheel spin and the final Showcase round.
As a result, he took home $38,542 American dollars (about $50,000 Canadian) worth of goods which included the ladies’ accessories (from the first qualifying round), a Dodge Journey SUV, 3 motorcycles, a 75 inch Smart TV and and an iPad Pro. More amazing is the fact that the prices were in American dollars in the United States where the retail of price of the goods is substantially lower than in Canada.
He told the Millstone that he made pure guesses. Martin and Joel were sworn to secrecy about the win until the show aired on February 13 this year, so the community was unaware of their good fortune until recently.
The couple celebrated with a dinner at the famous Sur Restaurant in West Hollywood, flew home for Christmas and then set off for Cuba and Mexico for a couple of months. They returned home to Almonte at the end of February.
The Millstone interviewed Martin and Joel back in Almonte and they expressed excitement at the win, but also satisfaction in their decision to move to Almonte four years ago. Both are from Ottawa and have been restaurant servers all of their adult lives. They decided to strike out on their own in the food truck business and had a truck custom made by Kitchen on Wheels in Alexandria.
In speaking with Kitchen on Wheels about a possible location, they discovered that there was a recently vacated space in Almonte. They liked the location, although they were a bit nervous about moving to a small town, but they decided to give it a try in 2013 and have never looked back. Business is good. The focus is on excellent service and good solid “heart attack” food as they call it (burgers, fries, poutine, club sandwiches pulled pork, smoked meat), the comfort food of most Canadians.
Good luck has followed them from Almonte to Hollywood and back.