The Mighty Bowl is no longer just a food truck. When you walk into the light and bright Mighty Bowl brick and mortar space you’ll notice the hustle and bustle of good, basic, local food being made into good-for-you simple meals.
Without the limitations of food truck size, Steve Valenta, Mighty Bowl’s founder, has expanded his vision of simple, healthy food for the masses. You may see one staff member feeding huge carrots into a food processor and grating ginger for a healthy juice and another filling white china bowls with ingredients from the extensive pre-cooked offerings and fresh produce bins. And don’t let me forget to tell you about the avocado toast.
At a Crossroads – Mighty Bowl was Born
At The Mighty Bowl, Vancouver diners look forward to a steaming hot bowl of rice and beans handed to you from the green and white food truck. The Mighty Bowl became an institution. But that was only after Steve Valenta reached a crossroads in his life.
Around age 30, Valenta and his wife Sherilee sat back and took stock of their lives. Steve was in finance and was questioning whether the profession was fulfilling enough for him to continue. The couple also found themselves traveling to Portland several evenings a week to find the type of food they enjoyed… local, healthy and delicious.
Valenta was at a crossroads, personally. He craved community involvement in his work and knew he needed to make a change. Healthy food became an important part of his life and he decided that Vancouver, where they lived, needed a source for healthy, inexpensive food. And so, as Valenta puts it, “We became the change we wanted to see.” Since a food truck is the most cost effective way to get started in the restaurant business and a mobile restaurant is highly accessible to people in many locations, it seemed the right way to go.
The idea of a mobile restaurant was fairly new to Vancouver. Yes, there was the stationary hot dog cart on Main Street, but The Mighty Bowl concept was a new one. They brought the kind of food they enjoyed at home to the people of Vancouver and it worked! The Mighty Bowl became “a thing.”
Eventually Valenta hired a couple to run the food truck and he spent some time thinking about next steps.
The New, Mightier than Ever Mighty Bowl
It was time to think about the future. When the couple Valenta had hired to run the food truck had a baby, he realized that he needed to provide more stability. Sustainability became the driver and the business plan was revised to go in the direction of a brick and a mortar restaurant and, with that, expanded offerings.
Valenta realized, “Families were being supported by us.” Not only his own family, his wife, son and daughter, but the families of his staff members relied on the business.
Earlier this year the new plan was realized with the opening of The Mighty Bowl restaurant on West 8th Street in Vancouver.
Health is a Family Affair
Valenta came to healthy food out of necessity. At one point as a young man, he suffered from a neurological disorder. In crisis and having no real direction from the medical establishment, he realized he needed to do all he could to improve his health. “Food was important and environment was important,” Valenta shares. His lifestyle changes worked and he regained his health. He adds, “A debilitating disease changed my life.”
His passion for locally sourced, healthy food is evident. He cares about the health of his community.
His wife, Sherilee is also devoted to health. She is a certified doula and developed a business around healthy supportive birthing called Baby Nest Birth Services. She has a team of six doulas, supporting birth and postpartum. They are based in Vancouver but serve the Portland area as well.
Your Healthy Food Experience
The Mighty Bowl is a hip, casual environment. You can sit at the bar and watch your smoothie being made or take your bowl and hang out with friends on one wall’s stadium seating. They still have their signature rice and bean bowls, but there is so much to add in. Since they build a customer’s meal from scratch, the restaurant can meet any health need, allergy or food preference.
The Mighty Bowl has continued to expand their hours and food offerings. You can enjoy the bowls, burritos, smoothies and juices and even more.
And, not to forget, they now offer amazing breakfast toasts. My favorite was the Deluxe Avocado Toast – available on a luscious multi-grain bread or gluten free option. Next they add a healthy serving of fresh avocado sprinkled with sea salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, green onion, slices of bright red Roma tomato, sliced boiled egg, and topped with micro greens and a little Parmesan cheese for good measure.
This toast made me wish I lived in downtown Vancouver and could run in to The Mighty Bowl for breakfast on a regular basis.
Going to The Mighty Bowl
The Mighty Bowl is located downtown at 108 West 8th Street in Vancouver. Metered street parking is available. Follow The Mighty Bowl Facebook page for updates.
The smoothie juice and breakfast bar is open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Bowls, salads and burritos are served from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.