Denver CO: Food Truck Serves up Message About Giving

By Robert Garrison |


DENVER – The Bistro Colorado food truck will never be able to sneak up on anyone. The flavorful aroma of gourmet food being cooked inside the truck signals its presence in a neighborhood.

Travis Smith, a longtime chef, started the food truck about a year ago. While he wants his customers to enjoy the food on the menu, he also wants to raise their appetite for helping others. A small sign on the food truck speaks to efforts Smith and Bistro Colorado are making to serve the needs of others.

The sign reads, “Bistro Colorado proudly supports Domus Pacis Family Respite.” Smith has donated proceeds from his food truck to the organization and volunteered his services as a chef.

Domus Pacis, which is Latin for “house of peace,” is a Colorado non-profit created to serve families dealing with cancer. Vince and Marylouise White-Petteruti founfed the organization in 2008. Through the organization families battling cancer can escape to the high country for a week to celebrate life.

“You look around and see that 65 percent of the homes in Summit County along sat vacant for probably 48 to 50 weeks a year and we thought this would make total sense,” Marylouise said.

They now have 90 homeowners in Summit County who have made their vacation homes available to families dealing with life threatening illness.

“We have about a third of the families that are experiencing an end of life situation. So this is where they all gather. They celebrate with each other. They build wonderful memories that will sustain them, not only through the difficult time that has come, but from the moments that when the loss is felt,” Marylouise said.

The organization has steadily grown over the years. In 2008, they hosted five families for week long respites. In 2012, that number had risen to 70 and they are hoping to be able to accommodate between 80 and 100 families this year.

To do so they are reliant on weeklong donations of vacation homes in Summit County. They also rely on the generosity of restaurants in Summit County that provide complementary dinners to families. Cash donations fill in the other needs of the families.

For more information about Domus Pacis Famiy Respite, visit their website at: