Typically, food trucks are born out of a singular passion. A lone person believing in their vision so strongly, feeling that their idea is so solid, that they can’t even be bothered to save up enough for a brick-and-mortar business before they start working. The need to bring their idea to the people is too great.
But FAIT NOLA isn’t typical. In fact, they don’t even sell food. The new mobile solarium (read: plant truck) is a family affair that sprouted out of a family’s shared passion for horticulture. Emily and Laura Joffrion launched the idea of a mobile nursery to help their mother Kathleen Robinson share her gift of greenery.
“It just seemed like a really natural fit to do something that lifted up her creative passions,” Laura explained.
The family began kicking around the idea of a truck bringing plant arrangements to the people last fall and just short of a year later, their truck is up and moving. Dubbed the “Axil Rose” (that’s a triple entendre on plant anatomy, trucks and the jungle-ish interior that might bring you to your kn-kn-knees) the bright blue former laundry truck had its official unveiling last Saturday.
The conversion of the truck into a greenhouse, complete with a pitched glass roof and an interior of cypress hauled out of the Mississippi River, was handled by artists at Airlift NOLA. Laura discovered the work of the Music Box masterminds while looking into learning metal fabrication.
They passed the truck off to Airlift’s fabrication instructor Christian Repaal and he crafted the city’s first plant truck. But the idea isn’t the only new thing that the FAIT NOLA family are bringing to the Crescent City.
“We really wanted to bring something to market that isn’t here already,” Laura said. “We’ve all lived kind of all over the country…because of that we sort of got drawn to cactus and succulents. We definitely focus on exotic plants.”
While FAIT NOLA’s physical space will be out and about, they focus on bringing plants to apartment dwellers, hoping to let them bring a bit of the natural world in with them and allowing new people to “get their hands dirty.”
“It really made sense to make something we could bring to the community and meet them where they already are while also spreading our passion for plants,” Emily explained. “We‘ve seen food trucks take off in other cool cities. why not bridge it into something not edible?”
Right now, that means rolling up at New Orleans festivals and markets with a truck full of arrangements and cypress-mounted plants. But FAIT NOLA plans to host plant care workshops, rent themselves out to parties who want to get their hands in some dirt and even launch a build-your-own terrarium bar where people can make their own arrangements.