Vegan food
From left to right, co-owners Gwyneth Yvonne and Randon Moore pose inside The BeetBox Truck on Friday, March 26, 2021. (Zaria Oates / Gaylord News)

Two friends who met in a college classroom have turned their interest about healthier diets into a food truck with vegan food options.

Gywneth Yvonne, 22, and Randon Moore, 24, began The BeetBox Truck in their apartment in 2019. Yvonne chose to become vegan nearly five years ago, but Moore changed his diet out of necessity.

Gaylord NewsThis story was reported by Gaylord News, a Washington reporting project of the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma. 

Moore was diagnosed with median arcuate ligament syndrome when the median arcuate ligament presses tightly on the celiac artery and surrounding nerves, causing pain in the upper abdomen. Treatment usually involves laparoscopic surgery, recovering within two weeks.

The pain can cause food aversion in people, leading to weight loss, often, of more than 20 pounds. When Moore started a vegan diet, he noticed how it helped and didn’t stop after his surgery.

“I never ate because I was so scared to be in pain, and that’s when Gwyn introduced me to a vegan diet, then after my surgery, I noticed drastic changes of how a vegan diet can affect your body, and that’s why I’ll never go back,” Moore said.

While a fried “Chickless” sandwich gave Yvonne and Moore a jumpstart, their sauce creations and temporary items keep the co-owners on their toes.

The two have spent hours recreating well-known sauces and dishes into vegan counterparts and have used the help of Moore’s parents to be able to have their meals taste like the original.

Derrick and Cynthia Moore assist with cooking the meals and baking the cookies as well as taste-testing every item before it gets added to the menu. Both left their jobs to help work on the vegan food truck and don’t have any regrets.

“My wife retired, and I left my job because we have that much confidence in our son (…) that we can make this happen together,” Derrick Moore said.

Yvonne said neither she nor Moore had ever worked on a food truck or even been to one before, so it was a huge learning curve for both of them.

From Stillwater with love

Over the past year, The BeetBox Truck has traveled to Oklahoma City, Edmond, Norman, Tulsa and Stillwater. While the truck travels to Oklahoma City and Tulsa more often, Stillwater residents still show their support as the starter-town for the truck.

Adam Glover and Christina Jackson are two of the food truck’s loyal customers from Stillwater. While Glover and Jackson both eat meat, they make the one-hour trip to Oklahoma City on occasion to enjoy their favorite vegan food.

“The way they make their food tastes really, really good even though a lot of people think vegan food isn’t really good at all,” Glover said.

Jackson said she likes the “Chickless sandwich” as a healthier option for fast food. Yvonne and Moore can’t give away all their secrets, but the main ingredient of the sandwich is organic wheat, topped with everything from lettuce and pickles to any of their vegan sauces you want. 

The co-owners are in the process of obtaining a commercial kitchen to meet their rising demand, but for now, they can only handle being open two days a week. The food truck is frequently parked outside of breweries such as Vanessa House Brewery in Oklahoma City, cannabis dispensaries and sometimes even the Neel Veterinary Hospital at 2700 N. MacArthur Blvd.

“At first, I think people were reluctant to have us park by them because [they think] a vegan food truck won’t bring in any customers, but then they started seeing how popular we were getting,” Yvonne said. “Now you have to book us at least two to three months in advance.”

Tulsa-based gerontologist and founder of Conscious Aging Solutions, Erin Martin, bases her work on plant-based diets. Martin encourages a plant-based diet, exercise and attention to one’s mental health to increase lifespan and help slow disease progression.

“I think that there’s a demand [for vegan options] that people are becoming more aware of and businesses are reflecting that,” Martin said. “I think that’s a beautiful thing.”