The owner of vegan food truck The Happy Pig opens market in Bellmore
What started in 2018 as a food truck specializing in potato tots and chicken fingers went vegan just before COVID landed on anyone’s radar. And now the mobile restaurant is becoming static with the opening of a mini-market in Bellmore.
Wendy Lantigua opened the space in July and has a plant-based menu largely made up of hot handhelds. Specialty items – empanadas (2 for $ 7), “chicken” sandwiches ($ 15), and “clucket buckets” ($ 8 to $ 25) – are available daily, while other comfort foods are not available. are served only on certain days. Throughout the week, expect to find tacos, “sausage” and peppers on rolls, avocado toast, spring rolls, and loaded mashed potatoes. You’ll also find loaded nachos and “chicken” bowls with roasted potatoes, dairy-free processed cheese, and corn.
The store also sells local fare from businesses like Pop This popcorn, Under the Table hot sauce, and A Little Brittle Heaven’s with brittle almonds. A refrigerated case is filled with food products from All American Wontons (sweet and savory wontons) and Plant Provisions (sliced deli meats).
Half of the store’s pale pink walls are adorned with pig-centric decor, but one wall in particular demands attention: The Happy Pig logo – a pink school bus driven by a… wait… happy pig , who happy chicken. The mural was painted by Alex Cannava, Lantigua’s 21-year-old daughter.
In addition to operating a food truck and market, Lantigua is also the originator of the popular Food Truck Fridays event, which is now held at St. Dominic’s Church in Oyster Bay.
She said she had always wanted to turn to veganism, both personally and professionally, but “didn’t feel comfortable being a vegan truck and eating steak. just made no sense to me. ” Health issues ultimately inspired her to make the switch.
Lantigua studied Culinary Arts at the New York Institute of Technology and in 2014 began offering baked goods at craft fairs and farmers’ markets. She then roasted corn in a trailer before purchasing a school bus that launched as a non-vegan food truck in 2018.
Lantigua thanks her grandmothers for teaching her the ropes in the kitchen – her Italian grandmother for teaching her to cook and her Puerto Rican grandmother for teaching her how to make empanadas. “If my grandmother knew I was making vegan empanadas, she would think I’m crazy,” she joked.
The only place to go is open Monday through Thursday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1503 Bellmore Ave. in North Bellmore. To place an order, text 516-448-5126 or call the store at 516-636-5040. thehappypig.co.