“Wontons are the perfect vehicle for food,” according to Jon Stastny, proprietor of Wonton Jon’s food truck. A born and bred Omahan and former business to business salesman, Stastny has always loved entertaining and his favorite thing to do is feed people. He channeled this interest into a business plan for his now eponymous food truck, originally intending to traverse the nation hopping from music festival to music festival, combining his two passions of food and music. Stastny said that they were set to debut at some major events, like Backwoods at Mulberry Mountain Festival in Ozark, Arkansas and Dancefestopia just south of the Kansas City area.
But, after a March 1, 2020 launch, Wonton Jon’s quickly had to abandon those ambitions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, much like the ingenuity shown by many other restaurants over the past year and a half. Their model pivoted to go where the people were, which unfortunately wasn’t at canceled concerts. It wasn’t even at traditional food truck favorite draws like breweries or large office complexes. Instead, Stastny and other area food truck owners spent more time in neighborhoods to accommodate customers working from home. He also embraced brunch with a popular breakfast burrito option, even offering pick up and delivery from their speakeasy-style drive thru set up, complete with online ordering.
Now, in what he considers his first real season and as the world opens back up, Stastny is focused more on booking events like corporate catering and festivals. This makes up about 95 percent of his business these days, though Wonton Jon’s aims for one public event each week to get in front of new people. For example, the truck will be popping up every month at Kros Strain Brewery in La Vista, home of the famed Fairy Nectar IPA. To find the truck on every other day, customers can simply check online, as Wonton Jon’s updates the calendar on their website regularly with other public events and also shares their schedule on their Facebook page each week.
Overall, Stastny enjoys being part of the fabric of the Omaha restaurant world, especially as a food truck operator. He described the comprehensive scene as “healthy competition,” explaining that it’s a vibrant and diverse community that’s partly competitive, but mostly helpful. In fact, Stastny said that this may not be very common, but he’s built relationships with a few other truck owners who have helped each other out in a pinch, even going as far as working in one another’s trucks when understaffed. “There are lots of kinds of trucks, from the longtime 24th street trucks with set locations to ones like us that move around a ton,” Stastny said. He believes Wonton Jon’s stands out amongst this varied crowd, partially because of the menu set up: wontons are sold in flights of four and customers are encouraged to sample different offerings to get a variety of flavors all in one visit.
Each wonton is a composed dish in itself, like the best-selling crab rangoon or number two favorite peanut butter chicken. Stastny is partial to the Carolina BBQ-inspired bite, “The Reaper,” though he said that their burger picks are also extra popular. For maximum creativity, Wonton Jon’s changes their main menu often, rotating in a Mexican street corn inspired elote option, the summertime smash strawberry goat cheese, and even a plant-based mushroom ceviche iteration. They haven’t quite let go of the popular brunch menu either—so those hungry for a biscuits and gravy wonton are in luck, as it’s still available at occasional pop ups and for special event catering.
As for what the future holds, no one knows, but Stastny is looking forward to it. “The more I progress, the more opportunities present themselves, and I’m excited to see what the next few years bring. I’m just going to continue to follow my gut and try new things—that’s the beauty of having my business on wheels.”