Fresh Truck

Nov 19, 2017

 

Fresh Truck

Nov 19, 2017

Meet Annika Morgan, Co-Founder and Chief Program Officer of Fresh Truck, a Boston based social enterprise. We operate two renovated school buses as mobile food markets, stocked with fresh fruit, vegetables, and healthy snacks.

GH: WHAT IS Fresh Truck?
AM: Fresh Truck is a Boston based social enterprise. We operate two renovated school buses as mobile food markets, stocked with fresh fruit, vegetables, and healthy snacks. We partner with health centers and other community organizations to combine their services with access to affordable, healthy food. You can see us in action here.
GH: WHAT WAS YOUR EUREKA MOMENT: HOW DID Fresh Truck GET STARTED?
AM: Fresh Truck got started when Josh, my co-founder and our Executive Director, was working as a health educator at the MGH Charlestown Healthcare Center. He kept hearing from his families that it was difficult to shop for healthy food – at that time, the only grocery store in the neighborhood was set to be shut down for a year-long renovation. It was this experience that inspired Fresh truck to rethink the traditional grocery store model, make it mobile and bring it to the people that need it the most.
GH: HOW DID YOU BUILD/ ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT BUILDING YOUR TEAM?

 

AM: On a small or growing team it’s critical that each person have different experience and set of skills. The CEO of IDEO, Tim Brown, popularized the term ‘T-shaped person’ to describe someone that has deep expertise in one area and also is able to contribute across other areas. This combination of depth and breadth in individuals helps teams work more effectively. We are lucky to have built a team that even though it’s small has expertise in social innovation, program design, community building, food supply chain and inventory management.

GH: WHAT IS YOUR COMPANY PHILOSOPHY DRIVING YOUR COMPANY CULTURE?

AM: I can’t say that we are one of those organizations that has a culture deck or our graphics of our values written up on the wall. At least not yet. We’re still small, scrappy and giving it our all every day to make an impact. We’re a mission based organization so our company culture is rooted in relentless dedication to the belief that everyone deserves access to fresh affordable food to put on the table for their family.

 

GH: WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM YOUR FIRST CUSTOMERS?
AM: We’ve got the best customers. Needless to say they have been a huge part of everything we have done over the past four years. Even before they became customers, our communities informed the development of our market schedule, the inventory we carried, our outreach strategies. Our first mobile market is actually named ‘Diane’ after one of our first regular customers at Hearth an assisted living community for formerly homeless elders. Diane loved everything about food and cooking and was always swapping stories and recipes with other customers. She really embodied why we do what we do at Fresh Truck.
GH: WHAT HAS THE BOSTON ECOSYSTEM PROVIDED YOU?
AM: Boston is a great city to start something. There are so many incredibly smart and driven people who are either working on building something or eager to help out startup wherever they can. As Northeastern alums we were really lucky to have the support of the IDEA program as we were getting started. We also were in the inaugural class Power Launch fellows where we met some incredible people. We’ve also frequented several of the workshops, panels and conferences held by organizations like the Boston Foundation, MassChallenge, MIT Media Lab, and Harvard.
GH: WHAT’S THE BEST/WORST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WERE GIVEN ALONG THE WAY?
AM: “Don’t work to prove the people who doubted you wrong, work to make the people who believed in you right” There are so many people who took big risks on Fresh Truck when we were just getting started. Today, they matter way more than anyone who was ever a skeptic.
GH: WHAT WAS THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU LAST YEAR?
AM: The past year has been huge for us so it’s tough to pick just one thing. We’ve made big strides towards growing from a scrappy startup nonprofit to an institutional organization in the city. In January we brought on a new board of directors and have grown our team significantly over the past 9 months. Including bringing on an incredible COO, who has radically improved operational capacity. This summer we launched a partnership with Sweetgreen to make significant renovations to one of our mobile markets.
GH: WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR Fresh Truck?
AM: We are going to continue going deep with our programs and impact here in Boston. Our plan is to build and launch a new mobile market every year to continue to grow our reach across the city. We’ve got a big vision for the future of food and health and we’re only just getting started. You can roll with us on instagram @freshtruck.
Share This