Josh Winnecour has long sought to do something that can make a difference in people’s lives. Working in recent years as an Outward Bound instructor, a registered nurse and the executive director of a child weight-loss camp, Winnecour always had his eye on helping people. His efforts were always well-intended, but they didn’t always having a lasting effect.
Now the Asheville resident has a new goal, one that he believes can help people make lasting change. Winnecour is planning to open a new food truck, called Fuel, featuring a 100 percent gluten-free menu. Winnecour hopes to serve the gluten-free community, as well as anyone interested in healthy, locally raised foods. He also plans to tap into the community of eaters interested in what’s known as a Paleo diet – the concept of eating whole foods. Winnecour recently launched a Kickstarter campaign, and is asking the public for $15,000 to help him buy a truck.
“I want to do something that is important and can make a change in people’s lives,” Winnecour said. “The answer is simple – it’s food. It makes us who we are, but the way we live our lives today, it can be hard to put quality fuel in our bodies.”
Winnecour has teamed up with Andy Danh, who most recently has been cooking at Doc Chey’s. The two worked up a menu that features everything from sweet potatoes fried in grass-fed beef tallow to chicken marinated in coconut milk. A big hit in catering runs for the two has been meatballs made of beef, lamb and pork, with kale, parsley and other seasonings. He’s got dessert, too: frozen pops made with honey, not sugar, in flavors like lime-banana.
The Fuel team is promising transparency in its menu, so folks can know where the food is coming from, and that it is locally grown and organic.
Winnecour, who is married and has a daughter, said he’s been motivated in part by seeing his mother, who was morbidly obese, die at age 50 in 1997. “That just put the fire under me,” he said, adding that his original idea was to name his business after his late mother. Since then, he’s honed his food truck idea to the one he’s pitching now on Kickstarter.
Another inspiration has been the community of people who work out in local Crossfit gyms. Devotees often adopt a Paleo-friendly diet. The tough workouts, and the food, helped Winnecour drop 60 pounds over the past two and a half years. He plans to have his truck parked at local Crossfit gyms.
Winnecour said he decided to open a food truck because he wanted to provide people easy access to healthy food. He said he found himself spending hours on end in his own kitchen trying to prepare good food, and wanted to share what he’s learned.
“It was a real eye-opener to try to eat the way I wanted to eat and have a life,” he said. “It’s possible, but it’s challenging.”
Winnecour has big goals beyond just opening a food truck. “The food, the fuel, is my passion, but I want an educational component to what I’m doing. I’d like to do some presentations, some book clubs. All of that.”
In short, Winnecour wants to have a lasting impact on people’s lives.