Feeding a Community in Good Times and Bad
RollinGreens, a modern food truck, expanding local economic opportunity with sophisticated street fare from locally grown food sources
The evolution of the humble food truck has seen rapid growth in the last few years as consumers have become more adventurous in what they like to eat and where they seek new cuisine. This trend has even spread to the franchise world as a low-cost option for entrepreneurs and a way to help company brands grow.
Fortunately in Colorado, there is a company paying homage to the original one-of-a-kind, family-owned food truck “where gourmet meets the streets.” RollinGreens, Boulder’s first and only fully sustainable commercial kitchen on wheels, brings a renewed focus on fresh, local and organic sophisticated street food with a side of community spirit and service.
In 2011, RollinGreens owners Lindsey Mandel and Ryan Cunningham wanted to continue the tradition of the “natural foods wagon” started by Ryan’s parents over 30 years ago when they rolled out to various Boulder industrial parks serving workers 1980’s versions of comfort food. Ryan, who trained professionally as a chef, knew he wanted to upgrade not only the content of the dishes produced from his family’s food truck but also the equipment in the truck itself.
That’s when he and Lindsey knew they needed a loan and approached Colorado Enterprise Fund. Converting his parents’ basic food wagon into the 24-foot top-of-the-line trailer it is today was an architectural feat involving custom-designed cooking, cleaning and serving areas, compact refrigeration and sanitary waste removal equipment, plus energy efficient HVAC systems and a generator – all up to code for today’s mobile food vending vehicles.
The outcome for Ryan and Lindsey was the ability to create delicious dishes with a healthy focus in their retrofitted rig using local, organic food sources. Their menu changes daily from gourmet remakes of the simple tater tot and cheese burger to more exotic fare like curried lamb and bulgogi tacos.
Having built their “commissary kitchen on wheels,” RollinGreens can venture past downtown Boulder to feed others which is exactly what Ryan and Lindsey did in fall 2013 following the devastating floods in Boulder County.
Responding to flood-stricken victims dealing with damage to their homes and businesses, RollinGreens launched a ‘make a difference’ campaign on their Facebook page, asking for donations to their Food 4 Flood cause so they could give their food away for free. Their community outreach campaign was featured on the September 16 NBC Nightly News Making a Difference segment, “Neighbors band together in Colorado disaster.”
From food wagon to rescue wagon, RollinGreens has earned its place in Boulder’s mobile restaurant scene as well as in surrounding communities. Investing in good food and doing good are all part of the menu for this small business with a big heart.
Through Ours to Own Denver, your small investment will help local community lenders like CEF provide much needed capital to support small business, like RollinGreens, that are fueling local economic growth and community prosperity.