Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita’s double-decker food bus is gone, but its former owners have another crazy idea

2017: Kind Kravings’ double-decker bus

FILE VIDEO -- Food truck owners Shea West and Rochelle Collins of Kind Kravings, a mobile vegan restaurant in a refurbished double-decker bus, complete with upstairs seating. (Video by Denise Neil with photography by Jimmy Vo/March 29, 2017)
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FILE VIDEO -- Food truck owners Shea West and Rochelle Collins of Kind Kravings, a mobile vegan restaurant in a refurbished double-decker bus, complete with upstairs seating. (Video by Denise Neil with photography by Jimmy Vo/March 29, 2017)

Kind Kravings owners Rochelle Collins and Shea West grabbed lots of attention in the spring of 2017 when they rolled out their dramatic new food truck.

The duo had imported a 14.5-foot-tall double-decker bus from London, and they fashioned it into a mobile food business that had the kitchen on the lower level and dining room on the upper level. People loved it, and the eye-catching rig helped the couple get a write-up on Food Network’s website.

But the bus is rolling to a new home, now. On Friday, the couple announced that they’d sold the bus and that they were moving on to a new (and equally unusual) project: turning a trolley bus into a food truck.

The couple, whose vegan food business first opened in a converted camper in 2015, just purchased a trolley bus from Michigan. West is now working on converting it into the couple’s new food truck, and he hopes to have it ready by March.

The trolley won’t have seating inside like the bus did, but it’ll give the couple plenty of space to cook.

Though they loved the bus, operating it was tougher than they anticipated. Plotting out ways to get it around town without bumping into bridges was difficult. And if anything went wrong with it mechanically, it was hard to find a shop that could work on it. Storage also was an issue.

The trolley, Collins said, will be “easier to move around and a little easier to store.”

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This trolley will soon be home to the new Kind Kravings food truck. Courtesy photo

A food trucker from Kentucky recently bought it, loaded it up on a flatbed truck and hauled it away.

“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Collins said. “But I kind of live life with a mindset that I like constant change, and everything’s just always in that process with us.”

The duo hasn’t given up on their original dream of parking a double-decker food truck on a piece of land and operating it permanently there. They hope to redo another double-decker bus in the future.

But for now, they’re focusing on their trolly and some other businesses they’ve started. One is a party- and event-planning business called Tribal Roots, and the other is a sound and production firm called Boom Audio and Visual. The couple’s businesses specialize in putting on events, like last fall’s Equilibrium Arts Event in Valley Center, which they collaborated on, and they envision putting together more events that will also incorporate the food trolley.

They also hope to continue serving brunch in the ICT Pop-Up Urban Park.

I’ll keep you updated on the trolley’s construction.

Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.


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