This weekend, Chandler husband-and-wife team Chad and Erin Romanoff celebrate the one-year anniversary of their vintage silver food truck — The Uprooted Kitchen. Appearing weekly at Gilbert Farmers Market and Food Truck Friday in Phoenix, the Romanoff’s “restaurant on wheels” is a true gem found right in our own backyard.
When they decided to open their own business, cost and time were major factors. Chad, a pediatric occupational therapist, and Erin, a devoted mom to twin boys, wanted something they could afford while making sure they still had time with their children. They opted for a food truck, but knew they’d face challenges along the way.
“We knew we were not appealing to the masses,” Erin said. Not only was The Uprooted Kitchen a food truck, but it was also entirely vegetarian. “We wanted to make sure we were able to start slowly and begin to create loyal customers that would some day follow us to a restaurant.”
With lines of people waiting to eat their food, which often sells out, it seems they are well on their way.
Each week The Uprooted Kitchen offers a vibrant cuisine that caters to both your taste buds and your health. The menu changes regularly, but some core items like the cheese crisp — filled with vegetables, sauces, greens, and the choice of organic mozzarella or daiya (vegan cheese) — are always present. Their breakfast offerings include items like vegan baked french toast or Erin’s chilled butternut oats, served with fresh fruit and the scone of the day. As for sweets, a range of whole wheat breads and raw cookies provide a wholesome treat.
The Gilbert Farmers Market has been a good fit for The Uprooted Kitchen, Erin said. “We fit in amazingly right from the first day,” she said. “At the market we are able to really get to know our customers — no one is usually in too big of a hurry, and they love chatting about food and our business.”
By offering nutritious meals, giving the vegetarian movement a modern twist, and building personal relationships, the Romanoffs have formulated a recipe for success. Now they are ready to branch out. Starting June 5, The Uprooted Kitchen will add a date to its serving schedule: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays at the Agritopia Farmers Market, next to the Coffee Shop at Joe’s Farm Grill, 3000 E. Ray Road, Gilbert.
• Morgan Crawford, 17, is a vegetarian, foodie, and long distance runner who lives in Gilbert.
DETAILS >> The Uprooted Kitchen is open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturdays. Gilbert Farmers Market, 222 N. Ash Drive. Free admission, food prices vary. Theuprootedkitchen.com or www.GilbertMarket.com.