Farmington, CT: Following the Green Food Truck

Kalia Kellogg and Saida Harpi at gmonkeymobile - Credit Irene Van

By Irene Van | Patch.com

Kalia Kellogg and Saida Harpi at gmonkeymobile - Credit Irene Van

Couple brings healthy, tasty, eco-friendly food on the road.

Their first stop was Farmington and they’ll be back. That’s the beauty of a restaurant on wheels.

After a full year of preparation, Mark Shadle, chef and co-owner of It’s Only Natural Restaurant in Middletown and his wife Ami Beach Shadle, a holistic nutritionist, set a goal of bringing their newest venture, “the nation’s very first all vegetarian-eco mobile food truck” out into the world by  May 5.

A friend saw plans for Earthstock CT 2011 announced on Facebook and suggested that the May 1 event at Tunxis Community College be their first stop.

Mark and Ami Shadle - Credit Irene Van

“We thought the festival perfectly matched our mission,” Ami Shadle explained “but we were totally overwhelmed by the welcoming and interested reception we received at Tunxis.”

“The days since then have been amazing,” she added.

From Farmington to Hartford to Durham, the gmonkeymobile truck has been rolling around Connecticut creating a huge following for their “Farm 2 Street” food. People are now waiting for the truck when it arrives at the Durham Farmers Market and Billings Forge Farmers Market in Hartford.

“Kids love the truck, it’s fun for everyone, it’s a fresh new concept,” she said.

Kalia Kellogg, associate director of admissions at Trinity College, had just picked up Saida Harpi, an accepted student visiting the campus from Philadelphia at the Hartford train station when she saw the gmonkeymobile truck parked along Bushnell Park. As they started their lunch, Harpi exclaimed “I love this area already!”

“The monkey has been depicted for centuries throughout many cultures as representing a highly social being that is witty and possess a magnetic personality. The monkey represents an insatiable curiosity, extreme cleverness, inventiveness and playfulness about life that we at gmonkey can really identify with. The ‘G’ also stands for ‘green,’ where we practice what we preach in terms of business ethics,” Ami Shadle added.

Mark Shadle, who explained the venture is operated out of the couple’s commercial kitchen at Shadle Farm in Durham and is not affiliated with ION Restaurant, said “The appeal of food truck fare is the immediate gratification of stepping up and ordering delicious, hit-the-spot food. This mobile kitchen is an extension of our philosophy about the food revolution: that people should have access to healthy, tasty, eco-friendly food choices.”

Gmonkeymobile serves a menu that includes organic, local produce, with choices such as hand-cut organic sweet potato fries, vegan subs, sandwiches, organic juices and smoothies. The truck is powered by biodiesel and is ultra low impact to the environment, using all compostable paper products and utensils that are composted at the farm.

The couple is very grateful that they have had “a tremendous first month of business so far and look forward to growing everyday,” Ami Shadle said. “We believe this is the right concept at the right time and are passionate about growing the business across Connecticut and beyond.”

Customers can track the truck’s location each day by following the gmonkey on Twitter and Facebook and can order ahead by calling the truck’s phone: 860.759.8880.

Gmonkeymobile plans to visit the Hill-Stead Farmer’s Market this summer and is available for private events and fundraisers also.

For more information call 860.759.8880 or email ami@gmonkeymobile.com.

http://farmington.patch.com/articles/following-the-green-food-truck