What better place is there to set up a business in search of high traffic areas than a college campus? College students are constantly looking for good food on-the-go, and for many, the Ferguson center’s food court has become monotonous as our college years drag on. Students were in need of a larger variety of lunch options, and that is where campus food trucks come into play. There are many diverse options offered to students, but the top three must-tries include Local Roots, Blenz, and Joyful Java.
Local Roots is a local food truck and catering company based in Tuscaloosa. At Local Roots, they stand by their belief that a good meal has the power to bring people together, and that breaking bread with others is an experience that feeds our souls as much as it feeds our bodies. Rooted in their past, Local Roots is a family-owned business and thrives off the values held by family tradition. “Watching my grandfather [original owner, Harold Willcutt] care for the food he was growing was inspirational and even spiritual. That’s why, for us, there is nothing better than growing a crop from good soil and sharing it with others,” owner Dustin Spruill said. A loyal customer to Local Roots, Ali Mathis, a senior marketing major, enjoys stopping by the truck in between classes.
“Local Roots is my favorite go-to food place between classes. I am never let down by the taste of the food it’s so fulfilling,” Mathis said. Mathis also suggested her opinions on how Local Roots could improve. “I think it would be cool if they gave more options once in a while. They have never changed the menu and I think they could provide an incredible variety if they tried,” Mathis said. Stop by Local Roots when you are running low on energy; you’ll be sure to fill up with good food and be ready to continue your busy day on campus. You can also find them at www.eatlocalroots.com or on Instagram @eatlocalroots to find their schedule, their involvement on campus and menu items available each day.
Blenz is a perfect option for students who need not only a quick lunch but also a convenient breakfast. Blenz Bowls is a smoothie truck stationed on the UA campus. In comparison to other food trucks, Blenz offers nutritious choices between acai bowls and real fruit smoothies. In addition to taste and nutrition, the bowls themselves are also incredibly aesthetically pleasing and perfect for a quick Snapchat post on the way to your morning class. Consuming something that isn’t fried, greasy or incredibly expensive can be difficult to find on-the-go while on campus but if you can manage to make it over to their two locations at Reese Phifer Hall and Presidential Village during the day, you will not regret it. Blenz is perfect when you are craving something sweet, nutritious and fruity.
Morgan Keenum, a manager at Blenz Bowls, explains how her future is devoted to helping people enjoy their eating experiences. She strives to create a better food and overall dining experience for the students on campus and aspires to provide healthy options in comparison to the mass amounts of fast food available on campus. Jamie Stannard, a junior dance major, claims to be Blenz’s number one customer. “Blenz has so much variety that I can get something different every time I go! It also is so delicious without the regret from eating something unhealthy,” Stannard said.
Variation is a factor often overlooked by the food services on campus being that fast service is valued higher. You can find Blenz on Instagram at @blenzbowls to follow where they are stationed during the day, their sustainability efforts and even random giveaways such as free bowls for a whole year. Blenz is here for the students and is devoted to improving eating efforts across campus.
Joyful Java is a mobile coffee concession operating in Tuscaloosa. The company is loyal to their goal of providing awakenings through coffee. Their mission is to pass this and happiness on to the world one cup of coffee at a time. Joyful Java is dedicated to providing the perfect coffee to any customers no matter the requests. Whether you’re a picky coffee drinker who needs a splash of non-fat, skim almond milk and 2 flavor pumps or if you prefer a simple cup o’ joe. Stated multiple times on the Joyful Java website, “Where there is life, there is coffee,” they guarantee to incorporate a positive coffee experience into your everyday life. Joyful Java understands that its customers are constantly on-the-go and do not have time to linger.
Danielle Pope is a junior criminal justice major and relies on Joyful Java to make it through the day. “Without Joyful Java, I would not be able to survive those awful 8 AM classes. I stop by the truck on my morning walk to campus every day because of their irresistible smells,” Pope Stated.
Food trucks are limited to a certain number of hours on campus each day, but some students do not have the time to drop by during their business hours. “The only thing Joyful Java could improve on is the fact that they are not on campus long enough. Students need coffee all day,” she said. You can find Joyful Java at joyfuljava.com or on Instagram at @joyful_java. Here, they provide their menus and schedules for the week as well as photos of their delicious, awakening products. The aromas are irresistible!