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A mobile food store? It’s called a ‘Growdega.’

Home » The Mickey Spirit » A mobile food store? It’s called a ‘Growdega.’
Mickey’s Fleet Services Center in Thomasville, NC entered a new chapter in the vehicle reconditioning and upfitting business when it recently converted a 20-year-old book mobile into a like-new mobile neighborhood grocery store.

The job was commissioned by Growing High Point (NC), an organization that transforms under-resourced neighborhoods by providing economic opportunity through community engagement, empowerment, and entrepreneurship. The book mobile was donated by the High Point Library after it was taken out of service.

Before and after photos of the Mobile Food Store.

The mobile grocery store, which began operation earlier this year in Mickey’s headquarters city of High Point, was completely rebuilt and upfitted inside and out from a 2001 Ford commercial van to include updated insulation, LED lighting, two beverage coolers, and a custom roll-up rear window for walk-up access. Below the window the Mickey team installed a set of flip-out doors for easily stocking the unit. Mickey also installed a new Cummins generator, a cold and hot water interior sink, and custom shelving.

“We worked with Growing High Point to build a mobile food truck that is not only very practical to access and operate, but that also features a very cool design,” says Kyle McLaughlin, GM of the SE Fleet Services Center. “This truck will stand out wherever it goes with colorful graphics that depict fresh foods and staples.”

The truck is selling healthy and affordable foods such as fruits, vegetables and herbs from local food distributors and Growing High Point’s urban gardening program, as well as basic items like pasta, flour and personal hygiene products to low-income residents who do not have easy access to conventional food stores. The mobile grocery store will run six days a week and make up to 12 stops in predetermined neighborhoods.

“Even in the best of times, food insecurity has been an issue in High Point for a number of years,” says Patrick Harman, Executive Director of the Hayden-Harman Foundation and Growing High Point founder. “That’s why we are working to increase food access, and this truck will play a major role in that.”

The food truck is called “Growdega,” a play on the Spanish word “bodega,” which translates to “storeroom.” Bodegas are small, family-owned convenient shops located throughout major cities. According to the Growdega Instagram site, “A bodega is a staple in the community; a sort of one-stop cornerstone for all your food and household needs, a concept High Point is very familiar with. We wanted to take that idea and combine it with Growing High Point’s mission to bring more fresh food into the neighborhood.”

The Mickey Truck Bodies Foundation, the charitable arm of Mickey, is one of several Growdega sponsors.

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