Phoenix is home to a wide array of food trucks; these are their stories. To read the last installment of the Phoenix Food Trucks series, click here.
Amid the bustling commotion of Food Truck Fridays, a sleek, shiny truck stands out from the rest: The Uprooted Kitchen. The new vegetarian truck sports an urban logo and boasts a simple menu.
The truck has been a longtime dream for owners Chad and Erin Romanoff. The couple have always shared a love for healthy food. Chad Romanoff works as a pediatric occupational therapist, and Erin Romanoff is a pastry chef. The couple combined their specialties to offer healthy food options through The Uprooted Kitchen.
The Romanoffs said their passion for food began when they had their twin boys. Chad Romanoff said an “evolutionary process” took root, which pushed them into starting their own business.
The Uprooted Kitchen has been in business since May and has been present at four Food Truck Fridays. The truck also makes dinner appearances at Jam in Old Town Scottsdale and at Gilbert Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.
The couple said they have clients at Gilbert Farmers Market who are not necessarily vegetarian, but are looking for healthy alternatives. At Jam, the food truck features more desserts and vegan treats than at their other venues.
When customers have the choice of healthy food versus processed food, they will look to the price as their answer, the couple said. Customer Ann-Marie Esau, 27, has been a vegetarian for 15 years. She believes that The Uprooted Kitchen’s prices are “comparable to other food trucks’ and worth it to get something healthy.”
Tuesday Mahrle, 25, who has been a vegetarian since January, feels similarly about the prices.
“I want to pay for better produce and know what I’m eating,” Mahrle said.
Each entree costs approximately $8 at The Uprooted Kitchen. Erin Romanoff, who works as the chef, likes to change up the menu every week, but will always serve two different salads, a quesadilla and an un-bun veggie burger.
A sign on the food truck’s window lists the local distributors – such as Boxed Greens Certified Organic Produce, Agritopia Farms and Rhibafarms – that the couple get their ingredients from.
Not only do the couple care about the food they serve, but also what it is served on and with. The Romanoffs said all of their plates and bowls are compostable. Even their cutlery is made from potatoes.
“It sounds crazy, but it’s true,” Erin Romanoff said.
Erin Romanoff said she finds it fun and relaxing and loves hearing feedback. The couple often interacts with customers with huge grins on their faces.
Chad Romanoff said he had been trying to get his wife to start a food business with him for more than 10 years. While on vacation in July 2011, they made the decision to start the business.
The logo and design for The Uprooted Kitchen took a team effort. Erin said they agonized over what to call the business, and Chad jokingly said it was more difficult than naming their children.
At every Food Truck Friday, they get busier and busier, which motivates them. By 1:30 p.m. last Friday, The Uprooted Kitchen was sold out of their salad bowl, quesadilla and un-bun veggie burger.
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