Saroun and Nancy Nop wake up every day at 4 a.m. to prepare their smoothie truck to open by 6 a.m.
At their small blue and white truck, simply named Fruit Salad, the Cambodian immigrants serve a variety of smoothie and fruit salad options, all made to order.
“We do just fruit and ice, we don’t add sugar, no dairy,” Saroun Nop said.
The cash-only truck on Montgomery Avenue near Broad Street offers an extensive smoothie menu, serving different combinations of fresh fruits and vegetables.
A small smoothie or fruit salad costs $3.50, and the medium and large sizes cost $4 and $5, respectively. Patrons can even add a scoop of protein to their drinks for an additional dollar. Fruit Salad is open every day from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., year-round.
The Nops spent time at a refugee camp in Thailand before they immigrated to the United States. Nancy Nop arrived in 1983, while Saroun Nop arrived in 2000.
In 2009, nine years after Saroun Nop arrived in the U.S., the couple opened its smoothie truck for business at Temple University.
Even though their truck is parked less than a block away from another smoothie and fruit salad truck, Saroun Nop said he doesn’t feel there’s much competition or difference in business.
“We do the same,” he said.
The offerings between vendors, however, are slightly different. At Nop’s truck, menu options are pre-established, but that doesn’t mean customers have limited choices.
With more than 30 menu options, the Nops use a wide variety of ingredients like beet, ginger, blackberry, coconut, kiwi and apple. Some of their smoothies even include chocolate and peanut butter.
Nop said the truck’s most popular items include the No. 15, a peanut butter banana smoothie, and the No. 12, a kale, peach, pineapple and strawberry blend.
He added the truck’s busiest times range from noon to 4 p.m. during the week, much like the other food trucks on campus.
Unlike many vendors, though, Nop’s truck stays open all year-round, including winter and summer breaks. Nop said he and his wife take just take off a few holidays, like New Year’s Day and Christmas.
Esaa Alarbeed, a sophomore electrical engineering major, said he frequents the truck about twice a week. He usually orders the truck’s No. 4, a mix of mango, banana and strawberry.
Along with its dedicated patrons, the truck regularly gets new customers, like Louis Mastroddi, a freshman sports and recreation management major, who visited the truck for the first time on Oct. 2.
Mastroddi said the truck’s appearance and reasonably priced menu caught his attention as he walked by. He chose a multi-ingredient drink featuring kiwi, blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, banana and orange.
“It’s a steal,” he added. “It’s definitely a bargain.”
Nop said having his own business is the best part about running the truck. When asked what his typical day is like, he laughed and gave an answer plenty of business owners can agree with.
“Long hours,” he said.