Food truck to increase fresh food availability

Alumna Nicole Beddow and Justine Carmine plan to start a healthy food truck, called Happy Hippy.

Nicole Beddow and Justine Carmine quit their full-time jobs to start a food truck business.

The truck, which will be called Happy Hippy and claim a spot on Main Campus, is aiming to provide quick, healthy and affordable food for Temple students and the surrounding community. The duo is hoping to open the truck in August.

Beddow, a Temple alumna, brainstormed the idea a year after she graduated and invited Carmine to join her in creating the Happy Hippy brand. She said she wanted to provide current students and Temple’s community with fresh grab-and-go foods.

Carmine said she was excited to join Beddow’s efforts.

“I was sitting behind a desk all day,” Carmine said. “I wasn’t active. It wasn’t fulfilling for me.”

The pair bought a food truck handbook and formed a legal company. One of the toughest parts of the process, they said, was picking a name for their brand. They eventually decided on Happy Hippy, because it’s “something catchy,” Carmine said.

Beddow and Carmine are currently fundraising to purchase a truck.

Steven Costa, an economics and risk management major at Temple and Beddow’s boyfriend, started investigating the business aspects of operating a food truck.

Costa ventured to different food trucks in the area to see what their revenues were like and conducted brief surveys about people’s interest in having a vegan food truck on Main Campus. He said he performed a cash flow proforma, a method that predicts how much cash Beddow and Carmine will be able to generate at some point.

Costa predicted that Carmine and Beddow will need $20,000 to start the Happy Hippy business, which they have begun fundraising for through  Indiegogo.

Once they purchase a truck, the duo hopes to get a permit to park it near Temple’s athletic fields on Main Campus. The Happy Hippy truck will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu will feature items like fresh juice and smoothies, salads and vegetarian burgers, and occasionally offer pop-up outdoor yoga events.

The owners of Happy Hippy aim to be affordable and sustainable. They’re expecting no items to cost more than $6 and don’t want any ingredients to go to waste.

“If we make a fresh juice, we want to use every part of the fruit, so we’ll use the fresh pulp for a muffin,” Carmine said.

They also plan to use eco-friendly packaging and have compost bins on site, they said. Their end goal is to be powered by solar panels.

“In order to go after your dreams, you need the energy from fresh food,” Beddow said. “It is alarming that there is not enough diversity in the food we eat.”

Jane Babian can be reached at

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