Another local food truck is on the verge of expanding to a brick-and-mortar location.
Whole Sum Cafe and Juice Bar will officially open its doors to the public on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 50th and Bryant in Minneapolis, just in time for the holiday rush owner Evan Tepper is expecting at the Patina across the street.
“They’re already getting really busy,” he said. “We have to prepare for that.”
The storefront follows a food truck – Whole Sum Kitchen – that Tepper launched in July of 2015, offering up fresh juices and smoothies. The goal was always to have a non-rolling location, Tepper said.
“It’s the whole lean start-up concept,” said Tepper (pictured above, photos courtesy of John Notman). “I wanted to start as small and efficient as possible and get a chance to kind of test it out before bringing it to market.
“We learned a lot. We made some mistakes and got a chance to figure out what we really wanted to do.”
In June he moved into the building at 824 W. 50th street, a former exotic birds store called Birds n’ Stuff, where he started allowing customers in for a soft opening last week. That corner also plays host to St. Genevieve, George & The Dragon and The Malt Shop.
All of the favorite juices and smoothies from the truck will be available at the cafe as well as extended menus for both – juice blends such as pineapple, basil and orange (the Cabo) and pear, kohlrabi and cucumber (the J Bay) – coffee and espresso and acai bowls. Tepper’s staff will be making juices fresh as well as stocking a grab-and-go cooler. He also plans to roll out a more substantial food menu that will include soups and quinoa bowls (coming next week) and eventually leafy salads and wraps.
Tepper, who is just getting into the food-and-drink industry after previously working in business consulting and account management, still plans to utilize the truck in the summer.
“I’ve always had this entrepreneurial spirit,” said Tepper, who was motivated to open the business after a yearlong sabbatical traveling around the world. “I think we’ve moved away from simple, slow food [in the U.S.] and in my opinion, that’s where it’s going.”