South Whidbey trio takes farm-to-table movement on the road

Lacey Thompson and Chris Vulk prepare breakfast at Prima Bistro. The two are planning to open a Farm-to-Truck food truck along with Brittany Keylon.

A trio of culinary artists are attempting to raise enough money to provide Whidbey Island with its first Farm-to-Truck food truck.

Lacey Thompson and Clinton residents Chris Vulk and Brittany Keylon share a dream to own a business which will provide accessible, versatile whole food to South Whidbey. They hope to provide convenient, delicious meals to residents stepping off the ferry or attending an arts festival or farmers market.

In addition to being the island’s first, the trio says the farm-to-food truck will be unique in its diverse menu and emphasis on farm-to-table, locally grown “slow” food.

The farm-to-table movement is one which prioritizes the employment of local farmers and the use of locally-produced ingredients. Vulk, Thompson and Keylon intend to gather everything from beef and cheese to fruits and vegetables from Whidbey Island area farmers.

Thompson said there is a sort of symbiotic relationship between cooks and farmers. When cooks such as she, Vulk and Keylon utilize local farmers’ goods to produce quality dishes, it’s something the community as a whole can take pride in.

Slow Food, an international movement founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986, “links the pleasures of the table with a commitment to protect community, culture and environment,” according to the Slow Food USA web site.

Many foods nowadays, said Vulk, are heavily processed; concerns regarding genetic modifications are prevalent. He hopes the farm-to-truck food truck will grant the community easier access to whole foods.

“We’re creating a revolution in the food truck industry,” said Vulk.

He and Thompson met while both were working as cooks at Prima Bistro in Langley.

“We hit it off pretty well,” Thompson said.

Thompson, like Vulk, said she’s been wanting to own her own business for some time. She presently works at a Seattle restaurant; Vulk is still employed at Prima Bistro.

Keylon, Vulk’s girlfriend, decided to leave a career in mental health when she realized her passion for baking. Prior to relocating from Virginia to Washington with Vulk, Keylon had opened her own gourmet cupcake shop called Pokey Dots Cupcakes.

Both Vulk and Thompson have had extensive experience working in the food industry; and each possess degrees from prestigious culinary academies.

“I love food. It feels good,” said Thompson. “I love serving people.”

They plan to have rotating seasonal menus with “a little bit of everything” from French and Italian cuisine to barbecue, biscuits and gravy and brunch. Desserts and sweet treats such as cupcakes and pies will also be offered.

Vulk said they have already begun talking with local farms including Three Sisters, Willowood Farm, Ebb Tide Produce and a handful of others.

With business and menu plans set, all Vulk, Thompson and Keylon need is the truck.

As of Thursday morning, $2,646 had been donated to the business’ GoFundMe page. They’re attempting to raise $20,000 in order to purchase the vehicle. In addition, they will be investing at least $10,000 of their own funds in order to furnish supplies, licensure and other necessities.

Ideally, Vulk said, they’d like to be able to purchase the truck by early spring in order to set up in time for festivals and tourism season.

To donate, visit http://www.gofundme.com/whidbeyfoodtruck.