Written by: Leonard Parker | Houston Business News | 20th September
Names ranging from Whataburger to Chili's to Auntie Em's to Gordon Ramsay trust San Antonio business Cruising Kitchens to mobilize their concepts. Now Steph and Ayesha Curry are also part of the local food truck builder's clientele.
But Cruising Kitchen's latest build is more than just a food truck. The new Curry's foundation is reaching Bay Area kids where they are with resources including fresh food, opportunities for play and books.
The three-time NBA Champion and and his wife Ayesha launched Eat. Learn. Play. (ELP) in 2019 to help bridge gaps in underserved Oakland communities. The foundation became a resource for families throughout the pandemic, providing 16 million meals and donating thousands to small business owners. They're now taking their mission on the road to reach inner city youth in their neighborhoods.
The couple wanted a bus to represent each pillar of their foundation, a safe space to grab a nutritious meal, a book and maybe shoot some hoops.
San Antonio-based Cruising Kitchen's latest build is helping Steph and Ayesha Curry provide Bay Area kids with resources including fresh food, opportunities for play and books.Courtesy, Cruising Kitchens
Cruising Kitchens owner and President Cameron Davies says the organization's CEO Chris Helfrich played soccer with his brothers years ago and kept an eye on his mobile vending business since then. Helfrich connected the Currys with the San Antonio business by pitching the Cruising Kitchens website to the couple. Davies says they "fell in love" with their previous builds and gave Cruising Kitchen team the green light to have "free reign" on the bus.
Davies tells MySA he was struck by their mission.
"I was excited due to the fact that one, I've always been a fan of the Currys and what they do," he adds. "Two, because I just read a story that they had fed almost 18 million people during the pandemic."
In addition to designing the bus, Davies says his company pitched in a "large" charitable donation and mobilized other donors to do so as well.
Now ELP is ready to hit the road. Steph Curry said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle that the food truck/library/"fun mobile" reminded him a of a "Transformer." One side has a food service component where meals and food essentials can be distributed, the other has a free book store and library. There's also a basketball hoop and deck for community events.
"Typically kids shy away from having food bank vehicles come up because they don't want to feel like they're getting free food or things, but now you can play basketball, get a book, a great meal and people flock to the bus," Davies says. "It's going to go out there and change the world. Ayesha said it perfectly, it doesn't take person, it takes a village. This bus is going to reach an entire village."
Davies hopes San Antonio communities join that village and replicate the concept.
"This was probably one of the largest profile builds we've ever done, as far as the person and not just the corporation," he adds. "My team stepped up for me and built something that is going to change the world. One day you're going to see an Eat. Learn. Play. bus in every major city to not only provide food but teaching literacy. It's a special project."
San Antonio-based Cruising Kitchen's latest build is helping Steph and Ayesha Curry provide Bay Area kids with resources including fresh food, opportunities for play and books.Courtesy, Cruising Kitchens 1of6
San Antonio-based Cruising Kitchen's latest build is helping Steph and Ayesha Curry provide Bay Area kids with resources including fresh food, opportunities for play and books.Courtesy, Cruising Kitchens Show MoreShow Less 2of6