Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

What the truck? Traveling farmers market is making itself known

Combine a food truck with a farmers market and what do you get? Truckin’ Tomato, a farmers market on wheels that brings fresh produce directly to one of several San Antonio locations.

Focused around the idea that the average farmers market takes place during short hours once a week, Truckin’ Tomato disregards this norm by operating on multiple days of the week at various convenient locations, including business parking lots, apartment complexes and special events.

Along with his fellow classmates, founder Shaun Lee developed the idea of a mobile eatery during a capstone course project while completing his Executive MBA at UTSA. Starting the business cost about $90,000, and a $50,000 grant along with other additional fundraising covered most of this total.

“To be honest, I had no inclination to start a business when I went into it,” Lee admitted in a Sombrilla article earlier this year.

The outdoor shelves of the mobile market are filled with a variety of colorful produce. From fresh-picked strawberries, grown on the Oak Hills Farm in Poteet, Texas, to oranges harvested in the C & S Groves in McAllen, Texas, small and large cities have their presence at Truckin’ Tomato.

“When we can, we try to get locally grown organic produce; however, some of the organic fruits and vegetables will also come from parts of California,” said Truckin’ Tomato employee Daniel Barrera.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, Truckin’ Tomato also sells a variety of other health foods from local Texas vendors, including free-range organic eggs, gluten-free energy bars and locally baked goods from San Antonio. Ground beef and whole chicken from the Vital Farm in Austin are also available for sale at the truck window.

To beat the Texas heat, choose from an assortment of cold-pressed juice, Texas Tea and San Antonio’s locally brewed Revolucion iced coffee, which lines the inside of the trailer’s refrigerator window. To reduce plastic bag usage, Truckin’ Tomato embroidered grocery bags are available for purchase. Biodegradable shopping bags are also available at no extra charge for customers’ convenience.

Apart from offering healthy options for the consumer and providing a revenue to local farms, a portion of the profits go directly to local non-profit organizations. The Christian Hope Resource Center (CHRC), a non-profit organization that provides food and other resources to those in need, is a major benefactor of sales made at Truckin’ Tomato. It is through this partnership that customers can “eat healthy and support a good cause,” Barrera said.

There are also faces at the mobile eatery. This summer, the company teamed up with residents of Haven for Hope by providing job-training experiences and opportunities to individuals affected by homelessness. The program will benefit many individuals throughout the San Antonio area. Even with a majority of profits going to local non-profit organizations, Truckin’ Tomato manages to maintain fair prices on all its produce and farm-fresh products.

Farmers markets throughout the country provide healthy food alternatives and promote great benefits to local farmers and sustainable living. Still in its infancy, this innovative mobile market has already made an impact on the farmers market experience.

To see where the trailer stops next, visit

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