Tasteful food truck serving tasty local faire : The Mighty Bowl

Today on my short walk around the block I happened upon an unusually attractive food truck tucked away on the backside of Esther Short Park. The truck had a QR code and a twitter handle, but no explanation of what they were. Just the name, “The Mighty Bowl“. I had not brought any kind of money with me so I walked by repeating “@mightybowl, @mightybowl…” over and over so I could look it up as soon as I returned to the office. Once online I discovered their adorable, succinct, Ben & Jerry’s-esque, website.

We’re a food truck proudly occupying the streets of Vancouver, WA and serving healthy, tasty and local food to the masses.

They “open” in a different location in Vancouver every week day and some weekends, and you can easily find these locations via their website or by calling an automated phone line.

Their menu consists of healthy bean and rice bowls  in two sizes, kids sizes, smoothies, and salads. You can also get your ‘bowl’ wrapped up in a tasty tortilla to go! The sauces are gluten free and dairy free and all the bowls are gluten free (sans wrap option).

Update: I finally had time to check them out today, and boy was it worth it! So delicious. And so much food! I got the regular size as a wrap and was only able to finish half. I’ve been back every week since! By the way, they DO take credit cards.

Everyone working the truck were super cool and friendly. Even the customers were friendly. Right at 11:00 there were already a couple of regulars in line. One of whom I chatted with about our parallel parking skills. (Or, lack there of)

Next time I want to try one of their healthy smoothies. They are dairy free and no sugar added. Made with rice milk, real juice and fruit.

Their healthy practices even extend past their tantalizing bowls, smoothies, and salad. They have recycle and compost bins set up right outside the truck so you have the opportunity to responsibly dispose of your bowl and food waste.

I love that these guys (and gal) have come up with such a cool, healthy, and responsible food truck option. And, the truck looks really cool to boot. I think I will become a regular; I have more bowls and smoothies to try!

Click to enlarge and scan the QR Code with your phone!

Try It. Click…

You should check them out. You have several opportunities during the week. Find the spot nearest you by checking their website. They even make appearances at various events for a dinner time meal, as well.

As a side note, the QR code leads to their website, which is fairly mobile friendly. The location of the truck is actually clickable and I can jump straight to my (Windows) phone’s map application in one step. So, I’ve bookmarked the site so I have quick reference to their location when ever I’m hankering for big bowl of local yum!

Find them!

Twitter  @mightybowl
Call to find location 1+(360) 602-BOWL
www.themightybowl.com <– You can find a WEEKLY schedule here so you can plan ahead!

 An [email] interview with Steve Valenta, co-owner of The Mighty Bowl:
I had meant to work this into the article, but his answers were so engaging I thought I would leave it in his words. After reading his responses I love The Mighty Bowl even more. The only thing more amazing than the food is the people who lovingly make it! {PS. I’ve highlighted my favorite bits}

[FunkyFitnessPDX] I’m really interested in the story behind this truck. How did you(all) get started in this? What sparked the idea?

[Steve Valenta] My wife (Sherilee) and I were going to Portland 2-3 times per week to eat at food carts, both for the food as well as the culture. We complained about not having carts on this side of the river, then decided to stop complaining…and just *be* the change we wanted, in Vancouver. We wanted the truck to serve food that we felt good about – food that we ate ourselves at home and fed to our own kids. We frequented outfits like The Whole Bowl, Native Bowl, Cafe Yumm, Laughing Planet, etc. and liked the concept of using organic brown rice and organic beans. Sherilee experimented with recipes and created the product we have today. Much of the bowl is organic and all of our sauces are made fresh, from scratch on the truck – all from whole food ingredients, without any artificial chemicals, artificial preservatives or food dyes. 

[FF] You have a unique social media aspect with your twitter handle and QR code. Very forward thinking. Thoughts on that?

[SV] Social media is a powerful tool. It allows us to communicate with our niche audience. People that want to hear about our product or our location have easy access to that information. It’s falls in line with Seth Godin’s “permission marketing.” It’s incredible. One of our greatest hurdles, since we don’t have a permanent location, is for people to find us. Using Facebook, Twitter and our website (along with our 24-hour recorded hotline 1+(360) 602-BOWL) are useful tools to make it easier for people and us more accessible.

[FF] What were you(all) doing before?

[SV] I was in Banking/Finance for the last 10 years. Sherilee was (and still is) a Natural Birth Instructor & Birth Doula. Kevin (DeGraw) worked as Production Manager at a Portland hummus plant, as well was a long distance “thru-hiker” accomplishing the “triple crown” of thru-hikes, completing the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail. 

[FF] What’s behind this local/healthy/natural/gluten free/etc concept? (Btw, I love that you have gluten free options. My husband is gluten intolerant and it’s super frustrating trying to find fun food options, especially out and about!)

[SV] Serving quality and authentically healthy food is at the foundation of our values, both personally and as a company. The less processing and more whole food ingredients we can serve, the better. We’re very proud of the quality of our food. I had some health issues that took place six years ago that changed my life forever. I went from being ‘fast-food guy’, ignorant of health and food ingredients, to someone that realizes our bodies and minds are a product of the food we put into it. So, we wanted The Mighty Bowl product to align with those values.
Our family too, is gluten intolerant and aware of the difficulties in finding restaurants that are food ingredient aware and that offer allergy/intolerant alternatives. All of The Mighty Bowl food is gluten free, with the exception of our “Rolled Bowl” which options a large 14″ flour tortilla. Sherilee spent and incredible amount of time creating our three sauces (Tangy House/Spicy Chipotle/Peanut) and are very happy with the job she did. Making the sauces dairy free, along without other allergens, while being tasty, was a challenging task. The sauces aren’t cooked, so the healthfulness of the ingredients is maintained better (less processing). People are becoming more and more aware of the food they’re putting in their bodies. And you can tell right away, as soon as you ask a server/restaurant if they know what’s in their food or not. We want to give our customers the confidence that we know – and that we care.

[FF] Do you have plans for the future? Another truck? More food options? (Not that I think you need more food options or anything. Just curious.)

[SV] We’d love to grow at the rate the market is willing to accept us. We’re only 8 weeks in business, so we’re seeing how well the community will receive us. So far, so good. It’s unclear how much Vancouver will and can support food trucks/carts – our market is very different than Portland’s – so we’ll have to wait and see. We want to help other people that have a dream of creating a food truck/cart to make it a reality. We did a lot wrong and a lot right in the seven months it took to build our truck – and we’d love to help others along the way. It’d be great to see 5-7 more food trucks in Vancouver by next Summer.

[FF] Anything else you’d like to share?

[SV] We want to connect with our community and create a space for shared life experiences that make life exciting and worthwhile. We thought bringing something like a food truck would be fun and create a vibrant and exciting culture in Vancouver. I personally believe that if we want to create jobs locally and attract companies, we need to make our area a place people enjoy and and want to live. And it can start with great food options. Community happens around food. There aren’t too many people that have $100-$200k to start a restaurant, but there are people that have maybe $15k-$40k to start a food truck. More food options will bring a more vibrant life to Vancouver – and food trucks are an incubator to make that happen easier and with less risk.

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