A Paleo Food Truck Could Hit the Streets in December
Andrea Crow-Henry, a lifelong Massachusetts resident and co-owner of Pangea Cuisines, a Paleo catering and meal delivery company, didn’t mean to become an avid CrossFitter and Paleo enthusiast. In fact, she was really just trying to save her father’s life. But it was his troubling diagnosis a few years ago that got her into a box, and she hasn’t left since.
“A few years back, my dad’s doctor told him that he needed to lose weight or plan his funeral,” Crow-Henry says. “He had severe diabetes, high blood pressure, and pretty much everything you can think of when you have obesity. He knew he needed to eat better so he turned to me. We went out in search of a gym we could join and we found CrossFit. I’m ex-military, and it was exciting because it was like it put me back in basic training.”
Crow-Henry knew that it would take more than just exercise to help get her father on track. She quickly fell in love with not only the daily WODs that CrossFit offered, but also the diet: Paleo. The two seem to go hand-in-hand, and when her local outpost began a “Paleo challenge,” she hopped on board. Crow-Henry began to make all her own Paleo meals for the challenge, and other gym-goers took notice. Before she knew it, she was making meals for a lot of people and realized she had stumbled into a business idea. That’s when Pangea Cuisines was born.
The company is currently making deliveries within one hour of Framingham three days a week, but what they really want to do is put a Paleo food truck on the road. It could be the Boston area’s first Paleo food truck. “I had started making Paleo food for myself and [my wife and co-owner, Katherine], but then people started asking me to cook for them. It just snowballed from there,” Crow-Henry says. “Now we are doing CrossFit events, other types of events, and we keep growing every year. It would be easier to have a food truck, to go to these events to be able to provide the food as fresh as possible. I like to have things as fresh as possible and make things on site.”
Fresh is definitely the name of the game in Paleo culture and at Pangea. Crow-Henry describes it as a “clean food company.” They specialize in specialty diets “to help our guests and clientele to be able to eat healthier foods without all the fast food junk that goes into processed foods,” she says. They make 90 percent of everything from scratch, including most of the “breads” they serve and the chicken and beef broths.
While all of the prep and storage for Pangea takes place in Framingham, Crow-Henry is not opposed to putting the truck on the streets of Boston, although she’s really looking at Cambridge and Watertown. But this Paleo food truck still needs help before it will hit the road. The truck itself has been purchased, but Crow-Henry says that they still need $16,870 for a new grill, a fire suppression system, a new paint job, and all the inspections and licenses.
Still, for Crow-Henry, the Paleo way of eating is more than just a lifestyle; it’s also a lifesaver. “We were at a big horse event recently, and one father almost cried to see us,” she says. “Most parents just take their kids to McDonald’s or a sub shop to grab a sandwich, but because everything is processed, this father couldn’t do that. His son has gluten and nut allergies, and this was the first time that he could take his son somewhere and have an all-natural sausage grown by a local farmers. His son could have a hot dog and be like all of the other kids, and just let his son be a kid. That’s the kind of thing that I live for.”
Crow-Henry’s day job is a chef at Jules Catering in Somerville, and she says that they’ve been really supportive of her efforts. If you, too, want to help get the area’s first Paleo food truck on the road, you can donate to Pangea’s Kickstarter campaign.