Vegan ‘Funyons,’ Anyone? Raw-Food Truck Hits Avenue A

Squeeze Truck 1Emily J. Hara The Squeeze truck.

A new food truck will hit the streets of the East Village next week. According to its creator, The Squeeze will be the only bio-diesel-fueled, pressed juice truck in the city. It’ll certainly be the only one selling vegan “Funyons.”

When Karliin Brooks turned vegan at the age of 16, she craved more than just granola bars. She went on to graduate from N.Y.U. with a degree in Nutrition and Broadcast Journalism and then attended the The Natural Gourmet Institute. Now the 38-year-old caterer has reconditioned a onetime UPS truck and will use it to serve buckwheat popcorn and “Twix” bars made with dates and soybean in lieu of caramel.

“We are food alchemists,” said Ms. Brooks, whose partner in The Squeeze is Jen Gatien, producer of “Limelight.” “We convert high-energy raw food into something that people can recognize and would consume.” The food, prepared in the company’s East Village kitchen, is vegan, gluten-free, raw, organic, and eco-conscious, right down to the bio-plastic packaging and recyclable glass bottles. The pressed juices like Are you Kidney Me? are made with fresh raw ingredients, meant to cleanse and detoxify.

In addition to past gigs in modeling and television production, Ms. Brooks owns a location-scouting company, Chasing Locations, which presumably served her well during two days of test runs in the West Village, the Meatpacking District, Chelsea, and the East Village. She knew immediately where her best customers were.

Funyons 2Emily J. Hara Vegan “Funyons.”

“The East Village is a hub of conscious eating, pressed juice, and raw foods,” she said. Others in this realm include Euphoria Loves Rawvolution, Gingersnap’s Organic, Live Live & Organic, the Organic Grill, Angelica Kitchen, Liquiteria, and the Juice Press.

She hopes that by going mobile, she’ll be able to keep prices low, since running a business out of a truck is cheaper than doing so out of a storefront. “Funyons” with chipotle aioli will be $7.99. “Moc n’ Cheese” – made with gluten-free quinoa pasta, cashews, alkalizer, water, shallots, cold-pressed olive oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, chili powder, cayenne, tumeric, garlic, and black pepper – will be $4.99.

“I’m eager to transform the way people eat, to eat lighter on the food chain, to heal themselves and the planet,” said Ms. Brooks. “By putting on the street a loud and raunchy attention-grabbing food truck, people might want to stop in.”

Ms. Brooks plans to sell breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week at two locations: on Avenue A between 9th and 13th Streets, and Union Square West at 16th Street. You can follow her and her truck on Twitter.