Traveling Food Dude Adam Vosding talks snacking, traveling adventures

The Traveling Food Dude and Holland the Pup on an adventure throughout the US. Photos provided by Adam Vosding
The Traveling Food Dude and Holland the Pup on an adventure throughout the US. Photos provided by Adam Vosding /
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The Traveling Food Dude and Holland the Pup on an adventure throughout the US. Photos provided by Adam Vosding
The Traveling Food Dude and Holland the Pup on an adventure throughout the US. Photos provided by Adam Vosding /

Everyone needs a sidekick, and for the Traveling Food Dude, that means Holland the Pup.

FoodSided: What’s been your favorite experience so far on the journey? 

Traveling Food Dude: There have been quite a few, but one that stands out was when I was driving up the Pacific Coast Highway on my way from Los Angeles to San Jose (following my beloved Lighting on a West Coast road trip), I randomly pulled over at one of the hundreds of beautiful places there are to pull over and took my dog down to the beach only to find a sign covered in stickers along the path down to the beach. I stopped to check to some of the stickers and one in particular caught my read “BBQ Surfers.” When I got down to the beach (it’s almost a hidden spot some world famous surfers frequent), I saw a little tiki hut with some guys, a BBQ and a dog.

Sometimes I never know if I’m welcome, but I went up anyway and said hello and was greeted by one of the nicest guys who chatted with me and explained all about this group called the BBQ Surfers. They served me lunch and I was able to get some cool videos of some surfers and my dog had a blast fetching sticks out of the Pacific Ocean. It was a magical couple hours there and I was bummed I had to leave and get back on the road. We exchanged contact info and several months later on my way back down the PCH, I actually stopped in again and joined them for lunch again. That was definitely one of my best experiences (of many) on this journey so far.

Is it true that BBQ sauce may have played a role in the adoption of Holland the Pup

I have always had the thought in the back of my head that it would be cool to have a dog, but with my frequent work travel I knew it wasn’t possible for me. Once I was in job that didn’t have weekly travel I did convince myself to “swing by” the Humane Society if I was ever in the area. One day I was getting some BBQ from a local Tampa BBQ joint that wasn’t too far from the Humane Society so after lunch I stopped in and saw this cute little black  pup (among many others) that caught my eye. From the sign on her cage I was informed that she was 2 years old and so I knew she was full grown and at 37 pounds, she was a good size that wasn’t too big for the small apartment that I had.

I spent about an hour with her at the Humane Society and kept asking myself if I really wanted to do this and couldn’t give myself a really good reason not to. I was also worried that if I slept on it for a night, she might not be there when I got back. The Humane Society had named her Jeanette, and I decided to change her name to Holland when I adopted her to pay homage to my Dutch roots. I have had her for almost 5 years now and she has been the best companion I could have ever asked for. She is super chill…very mild mannered and she gets along great with other dogs and kids and she has only barked 4 times (yes, only 4 times) since I adopted her so that’s a big bonus for me! She has always impressed the folks where I have stayed and was an honorary ranch dog at the Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch in Parshall, Colorado where I spent last summer, and will spend this summer, working as a sous chef in the kitchen of an authentic dude ranch in the Rocky Mountains.

You worked for Publix grocery stores for a while, has that industry changed in any significant ways over time? 

Oh wow, we are definitely in interesting times! I have always been a person who loved grocery shopping and going to the store to buy food, but there is definitely an advantage to being able to buy products online and more and more people are becoming comfortable buying things like groceries online. The grocery business is such a big market that it will take a long time for there to be any significant changes, but it is also a very competitive industry so grocers will have to be on top of their game. I’m still blown away by how Publix maintains clean stores with friendly staff. It seems simple, but so many grocery stores I’ve been in around the country are dirty and kind of miserable to go into, and that’s not a good thing.

I’m a huge advocate that you do need to visit local grocery stores when you travel. First of all, it’s a cheap way to do something fun and interesting and to me it’s always fun looking at the local products, and do a little people watching at the same time!

Recently I drove back to Florida from Canada right before Thanksgiving and I stopped in a Piggly Wiggly in rural South Carolina on the day before Thanksgiving and it was such a cool experience. Customers chatting it up with other customers and store employees, and checking out the local food section and the meat department really gave you an idea of what people like to eat! I’ve never seen a chitterlings section in a grocery store so big before! This Piggly Wiggly even had a restaurant/cafe in a separate area in the front of the store where you could get a home cooked southern meal before or after you shopped!