WENATCHEE — Almost every morning, food-truck owner Kandis Nestor whips up a brand new concoction of raw fruits, veggies, seeds and natural sweeteners.
“I like to experiment,” said the 26-year-old, first-time business owner. “I’m always looking for that just-right magical blend that, with one sip, will make a customer go ‘Wow!’”
Two weeks ago Nestor revved up her new food truck, called Rå and pronounced “raw,” to begin serving fruit-and-veggie blends, smoothies and shakes and hefty salads from a grassy parking spot adjacent to Wenatchee’s Walla Walla Point Park and the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail.
The 1977 Mercedes diesel bus — 18-feet long with a completely remodeled interior for its 6-by-13-foot prep and work area — is the second food vendor on the site. Rå follows The Hydrant, a walk-up espresso stand that has kept its axles and tires and, technically, remains a mobile vendor. Property owner Bob Parlette hopes the two businesses will spark a mobile vendor trend for the Wenatchee Valley.
“Food trucks are popping up all over the country,” Parlette said recently. “I think they could definitely take hold here and serve up specialty foods beyond our traditional taco trucks. I think our valley is ready for tasty, interesting, cheap food” offered from mobile kitchens.
Nestor, too, believes the concept has real merit for the Wenatchee area. “Fresh local foods served in a park setting has what I’ve come to think of as the ‘Wenatchee feel,’” she said. “It’s simple, healthy, natural and outdoors — qualities that pop into mind when I think of Wenatchee.”
The health-focused business woman came to the Wenatchee Valley four years ago after attending culinary school in California. She worked at the Dilly Deli, Wenatchee’s popular sandwich and salad shop, and now runs the kitchen for Leavenworth’s Osprey Rafting Company, where she serves up post-rafting dinners of barbecue, veggie burgers, salads and even s’mores.
From her food truck, Nestor also operates the Osprey Paddleshack, a kayak and paddleboard rental outlet situated next to the food truck parking spot.
Raw foods — that’s right, nothing’s cooked — are at the center of Rå’s menu, with Nestor’s special fruit-and-veggie blends as featured items. “Nutrition in a cup,” she said, slicing strawberries for a customer’s order. “Every blend, smoothie or shake has one serving of fruit, one of vegetables and two of antioxidants. It’s a way to take vital foods and make them yummy.”
For instance, take one of her favorite blends called In the Rå. Chopped apples. A whole lemon. A handful of grapes. A scoop of healthful Chia seeds. Raw honey and agave sweetener. Whir it all together in a blender for a sweet, tart and, said Nestor, energizing drink.
Other top blends: the Veg Out (lots of veggies), the Shish Kabob (bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, fig balsamic vinegar, tarragon, herbs and spices), Michael’s Favorite (strawberry, chocolate and banana) and Marty Monkey (chocolate, banana and peanut butter).
Smoothies and shakes include the Hat’s Off (strawberry, pomegranate and mango) and the Popeye (spinach and fruit sorbet). Salads of lettuce, radish, cucumbers, spinach, arugula, nuts, seeds and beans are topped with handmade dressings — sesame avocado, pear-strawberry vinaigrette and more.
Rå doesn’t serve sandwiches, but Nestor said plans for the food truck include offering fresh rolls, which use salad-type ingredients (lettuce, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds) rolled-up in soy wraps.
“I sort of have a slogan,” smiled Nestor. “We try to create ‘a delicious surprise your tastebuds will recognize.’”
She added, “We want customers to realize that healthy food can be yummy food. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.”
Details: Call Nestor at 264-1088 for more info on her food truck, Rå, or on Osprey rentals of kayaks and paddle boards. Or visit the Rå website at rablends.wix.com/rablends or its Facebook page.