Food Truck Entrepreneur Drives Community Towards a Healthy Alternative

Open Road — Week Three by Team WCKD Wolverines

It was Monday afternoon and we were sitting outside of Huckleberry Roasters in Denver with Sarah, founder of Ba-Nom-A-Nom. We asked her why she started her dessert truck and how she got to where she is now. She said, “When I was 13, my grandparents took me on a trip to Kenya. And as we sat in our air conditioned van traveling around the country, I witnessed adults crawling on the ground. I thought to myself, How is this fair? Why do I have what I have? I learned about polio and other health issues that people faced, and I knew that I wanted to work in health.”

I froze. I had an almost identical experience when I was in Egypt at age 6 and I had never heard someone else share a story like that.

Brainstorming with Sarah outside of Huckleberry Roasters

She went on to talk about the frozen banana whips that she made for friends during college and beyond, and after moving to Denver for a few months to enjoy snowboarding season, one of her friends said, “Sarah, you should really sell these things!” Enjoying her time in Denver and realizing that her 100% fruit-based dessert would be a hit in the healthy local community, she went for it. She took out a loan for a food truck, and manufactured a couple of prototype machines that she uses to make the ice cream. Her sister came up with the name Ba-Nom-A-Nom, and off Sarah went.

She started the truck in 2012 and it was a huge success. But then she had a setback. Sarah was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and needed to have her thyroid removed in 2015. Rather than expanding her business and adding a second truck, which she really wanted to do, she needed to take care of herself. Her cancer was a setback, but it also gave her a deeper appreciation for life. She loves her business, but she also wants to make sure it becomes sustainable without her in the truck every day. She truly values the work-life balance she’s created for herself with this seasonal business and wants to find a way to make that work for her for years to come, and that is what our team worked on last week. We asked ourselves what it would take for her to optimize the current model so she could spend fewer days in her truck this summer, and we looked at longer term strategy for her business.

I so admire Sarah for her passion, her dedication, and her willingness to push through all of the bumps in the road. I admire her for taking action on what she wants to change in the world. She is an inspiration to young women, to those struggling with their health, and to those who have great ideas but who haven’t yet acted on them. She is an inspiration to us all. Tackle your dreams head on, and with 110% passion and dedication, you can make it happen.

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