- story and photos by Lisa Monti
Starting this weekend - weather permitting - beach vendor Sean Riley’s food truck and rentals will be available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursdays through Sundays. It’s The Pineapple’s third season as the official vendor on Hancock County’s beach.
The Pineapple rents chairs, tandem kayaks and paddle boards by the day or for a couple of hours. Chairs come in pairs and with an umbrella for $25 for two hours or $35 for the day. The tandem kayaks seat two adults or three children and rent for $35 for two hours or $45 for the day. The same fees apply to the paddle boards.
The food truck, which made its debut last year, serves hot dogs, a variety of tacos and snowballs plus soft drinks, water and beer.
“Last year we sold chicken and pork tacos and this year we’re adding shrimp tacos to the menu,” Sean said. Also sure to be popular are the five signature hot dogs, with the $4 chili dog his top seller.
The Pineapple, the symbol of hospitality, started out as a happy coincidence, Sean said.
“We came down here (from Jackson) about four years ago with our youngest daughter for a volleyball tournament at Our Lady Academy and fell in love with this place. It was our first time being in Old Town.”
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Sean saw an opportunity to spend time in the Bay by applying to become the county’s beach vendor. He started out three years ago with kayak, paddle board and chair rentals and last season he added the food truck.
“Last season we really started to get some momentum, with people looking forward to us being out there,” he said. The crowds swell as the weather warms up and schools let out. “It’s pretty packed down there. I’m impressed with the amount of people on the beach.”
Sean says he enjoys talking with his customers at the window of the food truck while taking their order for a cold treat or a snack. “The majority are from New Orleans but I’m surprised at how many international visitors are coming through for the weekend. There’s an amazing number of foreigners,” he said.
The food truck, 18 feet long and 8 feet wide, is fully equipped with a sink, cooking equipment, an ice shaver, coolers and freezers. Sean says the morning set up is “pretty intense” and takes a good hour to unlock the beach chairs, set up the umbrellas, get the rental equipment ready and start prepping the food. But the crowds are worth it, he says, and every month there’s a holiday weekend to bolster the crowds on Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day. As the summer winds down, The Pineapple goes on a Friday to Sunday schedule through September.
Washington Street Pier, Bay St. Louis