A couple of years after Darlene Pleman-Voakes retired from California and moved to Murfreesboro, she admits she “got a little antsy.”
The grandmother got involved at a local food bank, volunteered at The Journey Home outreach ministry and even found a part-time job. But she was still restless.
“My husband said, ‘Let’s look into a food truck.’ So he started going online daily,” Pleman-Voakes said.
Darlene Pleman-Voakes stands beside her new food truck, Boro Salad Kitchen. (Photo: Submitted)
On July 23 the couple opened Boro Salad Kitchen, which servings a variety of made-to-order fresh salads.
Pleman-Voakes wanted to keep the menu “light and simple,” so she chose salads, using her beloved Chinese chicken salad as the star menu item.
“I wanted to bring something good, and fresh. Those are the main ideas for our salads, that they are light and colorful, and they are healthy,” Pleman-Voakes said.
Plans for the food truck started early this year, about the time COVID-19 interrupted. But it gave them time to get everything together.
They found a small trailer once used for selling hot dogs and gutted it. “My husband did all the interior work,” Pleman-Voakes said.
It took about six months to complete.
Over the months, Pleman-Voakes worked on the menu and came up with a name for the business.
She chose Boro to honor the community she’s come to love, and salads for the obvious reasons.
“I used kitchen because I wanted it to feel homey,” Pleman-Voakes said.
So far the response from customers has been great. Everywhere they’ve gone has been a sell-out.
The most popular menu item is her Chinese chicken salad, which has a “very special sauce” that is a crowd pleaser.
“It seems like ever since I had my children and I’d go to school affairs and would entertain, I’d make my version of Chinese chicken salad. And everywhere I took this salad, people would tell me, ‘You should do something with this,’” Pleman-Voakes recalled.
Also popular is the Southwest salad which features pinto beans, corn and pico de gallo, as well as the spinach salad with artichokes, bacon, boiled eggs and cranberries.
Although Pleman-Voakes and her husband have put a lot of work into the food truck, she credits God for helping her business come to fruition. There are two Bible scriptures on the side of her truck.
The first is Matthew 4:4: “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” The second is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
“I believe the Lord gave me this opportunity to glorify him by being a light in the world. Cooking good food for people to enjoy and putting smiles on their faces … that’s my joy,” Pleman-Voakes said.
You can find Boro Salad Kitchen from 5-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, and Aug. 29, at World Outreach Church, 1921 New Salem Highway in Murfreesboro, as part of the Food Truck Weekend. To book her, email [email protected]
Check out restaurants that have opened between January and August 2020 in Rutherford County, from sweet eats to seafood.
Murfreesboro Daily News Journal
Reach reporter Nancy DeGennaro at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @NanDeGennaro. Keep up with restaurant news by joining Good Eats in the ‘Boro (and beyond) on Facebook.
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