New vegan food truck finds Front Street home
Jamel Minors’ vegan food truck has found a permanent home on Front Street in Hamilton, after a summer spent popping up at beaches, parties and events, islandwide.
Mr Minors opened Alkaline Triangle across the street from Brew, on Monday morning.
“On our first day, the morning crowd was a little slow, but things got really busy at lunch,” Mr Minors said. “We had constant orders.”
Mr Minors launched the business last August, wanting to introduce more vegan and vegetarian food options to the island.
He believes that a meat-free diet, low in processed foods, can help to improve overall health.
He changed his own diet after a traffic accident, nine years ago, left him with a fractured femur, two broken ribs and a collapsed lung.
While recovering, he started watching YouTube videos about an herbalist, Alfredo “Dr Sebi” Bowman, who lived in a remote village in the Honduran jungle.
As soon as Mr Minors was well enough, he went to Honduras to learn about natural healing, plants and herbs from Dr Sebi.
“I spent some time in Dr Sebi’s kitchen,” Mr Minors said. “I fell in love with vegan cooking.”
But when he returned to Bermuda he struggled to find anywhere that he could eat out that offered tasty vegan options.
“I love to cook,” he said. “Before I was vegan, I was always the guy on the barbecue at neighbourhood parties. I thought I would start the first 100 per cent vegan food truck on the island.”
Some of his customers are vegan or vegetarian, but others are simply looking to eat healthier a few days a week.
“During the summer, some customers started coming to me two or three times a week and then started coming four or five times a week,” he said. “I was glad I was able to have that impact. I have had some good feedback from people who were non-vegan.”
Some of Alkaline Triangle’s most popular offerings include vegan waffles made from spelt flour, sweetened with agave syrup. Customers also love his falafel wrap, and his pirate burger made from chickpeas and mushrooms.
“I just introduced that on the menu towards the end of the summer,” he said. “Another favourite is my mushroom ‘chicken’ tenders which I only do on Fridays.”
His plantain fries are also popular.
“We hand-cut them and drop them in the deep fryer,” he said. “I call that vegan junk food.”
He also does two signature tea blends in the morning that are made with fresh herbs.
“They are not like normal tea, but they are more for the health benefits,” he said.
Mr Minors loves working on the truck and dealing with customers. He said the hardest thing about running Alkaline Triangle is the mental side of things.
“You are the one who has to think critically about everything,” he said. “That can be mentally tiring. I have two staff members and I have to make sure they have everything they need.”
One of the challenges is to keep a calm head when things get busy. He tries to stay positive while he is under pressure, giving himself positive affirmations like ‘you got this’, while he cooks.
And he said, after work, it is sometimes hard to wind down again.
Mr Minors was previously an engineer at Belco. It was a big step for him to give up his job to focus on Alkaline Triangle.
“But I am a risk taker and I believe in myself,” Mr Minors said.
Alkaline Triangle is open on Front Street, Monday to Friday, from 8am to 2pm.