Another day, another mobile food cart hits the streets of Denver.
The Sprout House, the vegan/vegetarian brainchild of 24-year-old Trevor Smith, launched today on the northeast corner of 17th and Lincoln Streets. Smith, who says he's held "just about every imaginable restaurant position" possible, graduated last year with a business degree from University of Colorado-Denver, got hitched and then ran away to Seattle for what he calls an "extended vacation to find the inspiration to open my own restaurant."
Smith did time in a local Seattle co-op, where, he says, he "learned about the benefits of buying direct and local while putting the community first," a six-month crash course that gave him the "inspiration and knowledge that I was seeking to move back to Denver and finally set up shop, the way I had once imagined."
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The Sprout House, explains Smith, is a "health-conscious mobile food service that focuses on unprocessed proteins from natural ingredients and offers vegetarian, vegan and wheat-free items for people with special diets and healthy lifestyles." For better or worse, that means no tubers, cheesesteaks or pork on a stick.
"I've always enjoyed cooking vegetarian food because of the challenges it presents and the creativity it requires," says Smith, whose menu will offer local and organic ingredients and rotating dishes, including grilled nopales summer salad, black bean sliders, mashed yams with chèvre, a vegan Caesar salad, hummus and quinoa tabouli.
Smith plans to plant the Sprout House on its designated corner from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday and around town outside of those hours. "We'll follow our market and try to be where they are during off hours, and we've approached farmers' markets, conferences and festivals for vending," says Smith. "Starting from a cart seems like a great way to build a direct relationship with my customers, while allowing plenty of room for expansion," he adds.
For location updates and a list of daily menu items, go to Twitter @thesprouthouse.