Food truck owner set to open eatery in The Shops at Hilltop

Food truck owner set to open restaurant in The Shops at Hilltop
Monica Whitely, owner of Yummysticks, shows where her restaurant will open in March at The Shops at Hilltop.

By Mike Kinney

The Shops at Hilltop is inviting another community business to provide local foods to its patrons.

We recently told you about the all-local R&R Coffee moving into the mall at 2200 Hilltop Mall Road, which has new owners with ambitious plans to redevelop the property.

Now, Monica Whitley, owner and head chef of the popular local food truck “Yummysticks,” said her business is preparing to launch in the mall in March.

The business’ first brick-and-mortar will locate on the second floor across from Shiek’s Shoes. The space, formerly occupied by Mama’s Restaurant, is airy and spacious. Whitley described The Shops At Hilltop as “up and coming.”

“I believe Yummysticks is exactly what the mall needs, its fun, unique & different,” she said.

The origins of Yummysticks have a connection to Bangkok, Thailand. In January 2014, Whitley and her husband were visiting in the country and saw a flea market vender selling both chicken on a stick and garlic on a stick. The idea was simple and drew a long line of customers and the food wad delicious, she said.

“My husband and I thought it was a business we should go into,” she said.

For the last 2.5 years, the couple has developed a following of loyal customers who visit their food truck.

Best selling items on the menu: chicken and waffles, fried catfish, salmon croquette, chicken terriyaki, grilled chicken and strawberry shortcake on a stick.


  1. Very nice! It’s good to see local and small businesses giving it a go at the mall. I wish them success and for all of you who talk so much about local business now is your chance to go and support some. What if the Shops had a food court vibe like the one in Emeryville full of local, healthy and unique offerings. It will be interesting to see how it developes along.