BrewBerry: Smoothie-slinging local hits the parking lot
New food truck on the block specializes in smoothies, acai bowls
PITTSFIELD — Roads and parking lots aren't normally the best places to cool off. That is, unless you find a parking spot near an ice cream truck or a different mobile culinary business like BrewBerry.
The new food trailer offers smoothies, iced coffees, Arnold Palmers and other cold drinks in addition to its staple: acai bowls. Owned by Pittsfield native Ashley Paduano, the business debuted at the Pittsfield Suns' Food Truck Festival in May and has since been operating outside Lenox Fit and North's Services in Lenox, as well as Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. Each week, Paduano posts her daily schedule and locations on her Facebook and Instagram accounts.
"I consider it like a little mobile cafe," Paduano said Thursday morning in her usual spot along a stretch of Wahconah Street outside BMC's Center for Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine.
Paduano is the business' sole employee, operating out of an 11-foot-by-7-foot trailer attached to a Silverado. A generator rumbles throughout the day in the pickup's bed as Paduano serves customers inside the white trailer, navigating around counters, a fridge and two sinks. Unlike a brick-and-mortar store, BrewBerry must establish its client base anew each time it moves.
"They'll stare. They'll investigate. They'll wonder. They'll maybe come over, just look," she said of passersby.
Ranging from $8.25 to $11.50, Paduano's acai bowls have been an attraction during lunch hours near the hospital. Of her six bowls, Paduano said that "monkey business" (acai, peanut butter, nutella, granola, banana, strawberries, cacao nibs) has been the most popular option. Like The Spot on Pittsfield's Tyler Street, BrewBerry is capitalizing on the healthy qualities of acai berries, which are rich in antioxidants. Paduano discovered acai bowls during a trip to Florida a handful of years ago.
"They're so simple. They're so good for you," Paduano said.
The owner added that she enjoys being creative with the toppings, as long as they don't stray from her healthy focus. "Coastal" includes coconut, goji berries and pineapple. "Sun rise" uses almond butter and bee pollen.
Patrons will find staples in Paduano's 16-ounce smoothies, which are all offered for $5.50. "Berry Blast" melds strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, banana and vanilla yogurt. "Green Monster" is a changeup — spinach, pineapple, banana and vanilla yogurt. A variety of shaken tea flavors (acai berry, strawberry pomegranate, lemon ginger) and cold brews (vanilla almond, cinnamon honey) are also available, as are a few hot drinks — tea, coffee, chocolate.
Paduano, who graduated from Taconic High School in 2012 and has experience working at Panera Bread and Blantyre, among other food and hospitality businesses, has wanted to open her own food business for years.
"I kind of ended up doing the mobile food trailer because I wasn't sure if I was going to stay up north, so I didn't want to invest in building, do all the renovation," she said.
Paduano still gets up at 5:30 many mornings and doesn't stop working until 9 p.m.
"It is stressful, and it is a lot of work, but I love it, just doing it all on my own and just the sense of accomplishment at my age is so rewarding," she said.
Paduano is aiming to remain in the Berkshires for at least a few more years, running her trailer during the warm months. A May through October schedule sounds about right. She is happy to see more mobile businesses popping up around her hometown.
"People definitely want food trucks in Berkshire County," she said.
Benjamin Cassidy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @bybencassidy on Twitter and 413-496-6251.
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