Vegan Van has been a staple in Denver's meat-free community ever since Brittany Gurule began working for the previous owner in the summer of 2014, and then purchased the food truck with partner Justin Warner in 2015.
But on July 18, Gurule explains, “Bootsy,” the nickname of the thirty-year-old van, made a loud clanking noise and then shut down. After realizing they would need to purchase a new van, Gurule and Warner turned to fans and customers for help. So far, the meat-free community has stepped up to support the Vegan Van's new mission, adding more than $6,500 in the first nine days of Gurule's GoFundMe campaign.
The owners are hoping to raise $20,000 from the campaign to help purchase and outfit their new food truck. “We hope to purchase a new truck and transfer our existing equipment over to it,” Gurule says.
Customers flock to the van for the vegan comfort food, with favorites including the Royale with Cheese, a vegan take on a Quarter Pounder. Other popular items are the Corny Island corn dogs and Chubby Fries smothered in dairy-free queso and green chile. A meatball sandwich, seitan buffalo wings and a house-made brat round out the menu.
“It’s food that you would never think you could still eat as a vegan,” says Gurule.
Brittany says that her and Justin’s journey started more than seven years ago, when the two began volunteering for the advocacy group Plants and Animals. “Our favorite event was a monthly community dinner called Chomp, where we would cook our hearts out and share a meal with the vegan community,” Gurule says.
Donations of all sizes – from $5 to $600 – have poured in from customers, as well as other vegan businesses, such as SOS Catering.
"We are overwhelmed with the love and support we have received already and we can't thank you all enough," Gurule states on her GoFundMe page.