Popular rest area food van forced to close

Only eight weeks after opening Nan & Pop’s Tucker Box – a food van set up by a veteran truckie and his wife at Yaamba Rest Area on the Bruce Highway – its owners have had to make the heart-breaking decision to close up shop.

Peter and Joanne Dehaas (aka Nan and Pop) said they had big hopes for their little business, which quickly attracted many rave reviews. That was until they received a hefty tax bill of over $10,000, which forced them to re-evaluate their plans. “At our age, it’s a bit of a kick in the guts. This was going to be our semi-retirement. We wanted to eventually ease it back to four days a week. Now instead I’m going to go back to driving until everything settles down,” explained Peter.

“We were doing alright but couldn’t afford to pay such a huge tax bill when we’re just starting out. Every time you turn around someone has their hand out – it’s two steps forward, four steps back.”

With the cost to purchase the food truck, together with the cost of stock, the couple had already poured close to $60,000 into their new business.

“We were kicking goals. It was a tremendous little business. We tripled our takings in four weeks,” Peter said, adding that an article recently published in Big Rigs resulted in even more people pulling up for a coffee or a feed.

The couple said, “It was a tremendous little business.”

“It was getting better and better and the response from that article was incredible. It was definitely getting busier every week. The people we met out there were unbelievable. It’s a shame.

“All the lads who stopped here just raved about having it there, because it was a good position, and we were building a really good rapport with our customers. We had a lot of drivers who became regulars, so there was a lot of banter. But it wasn’t meant to be for us.”

Peter says their ultimate decision wasn’t made lightly. “We talked about it for a fair while before we made the final decision, but we just couldn’t see how we could dig ourselves back out of the hole while still trying to build a business.”

The couple has now put Nan & Pop’s Tucker Box on the market, with the hope of finding a local buyer.

They had originally chosen to set up at the Yaamba Rest Area, located about 40 kilometres north of Rockhampton, to fill a gap for truckies passing through the area.

“In a perfect world, we would love to find someone out where we are, because we could then transfer our permits to them, so they could get up and going in just a few days,” Peter added.

“It took three to four months for us to get those permits. We had to go through the Rockhampton Council and then through Main Roads too. If we can find someone out here, these are hurdles someone else won’t have to jump through.

“We’ll give them all the training and help they need. It’s actually a good little business, it really is.”

When the couple shared the news online via their Nan & Pop’s Tucker Box Facebook page, many of their loyal customers were quick to react.

Mick Adams wrote, “Sad news. Will definitely miss the great food and great friendly service.”

Carl Stronach wrote, “Just heard the news. Going to miss you both. All the best for your future.”

Ryan Wilson echoed the same sentiment. “That is terrible news. I hope everything sorts out for you, shame to lose such a great business.”


  1. Sorry to hear about your business having to close. BUT unfortunately if you run a business and make money from such business you have to pay tax as do the rest of us. Think you needed a better business plan. SORRY

  2. Something wrong with your accounting. Small business is allowed instant writoff on most capital items. You do not get $10000 tax bill without earning plenty after expensive and writoffs. The idea is that you put aside money for tax. You should know ow well beforehand what tax bill will be.

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