Tulsa man leverages biodiesel to change food truck industry image

By Ron Kotrba | November 10, 2014

Tulsa, Okla.-based food truck entrepreneur Wil Braggs, known as The Cheese Guy, is working to change people’s perceptions of the food truck industry by going green.

“There is a reputation among the food truck industry that the trucks are dirty and wasteful,” Braggs said. He has a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that will run until Nov. 13 to assist with buying a new gourmet green energy food truck called the Mean Green Purple Machine, which will utilize solar energy to power appliances such as refrigerators and freezers, and biodiesel from used cooking oil to run the truck engine and generator.

Braggs says those who give $25 will have a monthly food item named after them, while $500 gets a three-hour rental of the truck (for homes or facilities in the Tulsa, Okla., area) and lunch for 10 people. The Cheese Guy is working with professional truck builder Prestige Food Trucks.

His former truck was an old Freightliner that was inefficient, according to Braggs, consuming about $1,000 a month in fuel and propane alone. “It was really just a money guzzler,” Braggs said. The new truck will not only “provide a benefit to the environment, but it’s also beneficial to the business,” he added. “This will make a pretty big difference in the world, and also in the Tulsa marketplace.”

Braggs said during the week he is a stay-at-home father of four—baby triplets and a toddler—and operates his food truck business on weekends.

The Cheese Guy menu features traditional grill and international favorites including fried mozzarella sticks, wontons, smoked chicken, egg rolls and bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos. The truck has introduced slow-cooked Caribbean cuisine in addition to its Tex-Mex style food, and carries gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly options. The Cheese Guy also caters to private events such as weddings.

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