In March, The Blend food truck hit the streets of Buffalo with an innovative take on healthy. Co-owners Tracey Taylor and Allison Kiblin (entry image, left and right) wanted to bring something unique to the area’s streets, parks, and arenas. If you’ve ever stopped by Larkin on a Tuesday, you know there’s no shortage of food trucks to pick from. However, these options don’t appeal to a sports player after a long game, or a triathlete competing in a race.
Taylor was sick and tired of eating hot dogs, pizza, and candy from concessions around the country. She explained, “My family would attend events like a lacrosse tournament that only offered unhealthy choices. The lack of options spiraled into a market that I wanted to explore, and ultimately turned into a business that I wanted to share.”
Kiblin said that she wanted to be involved with The Blend because she saw firsthand as an umpire, and as a participant in races the shortage of healthy food available to athletes and spectators. As a Physical Education teacher, Kiblin’s career is dedicated to helping students lead healthier lives. She believes that The Blend will do just that; fill the gap between health and convenience, allowing consumers to make better decisions.
The Blend’s menu consists of protein shakes, handmade bites such as bars and fruit cups, and freshly-brewed coffee. “As a personal trainer, my kids grew up on protein shakes,” says Talyor. “It seemed obvious to put them on the menu.”
You can expect to see novelty flavors such as Tropic Like It’s Hot, Not Your Mother’s P.B. and J, and Doing Just Vine. But, don’t let their quirky names fool you. All of the ingredients used in The Blend’s products are non-GMO (where applicable), all natural, and can be adapted to any dietary restrictions, including vegan customers. Using her knowledge from over 20 plus years in the health and wellness industry, Taylor crafted each shake to deliver a punch of clean protein, vitamins, and antioxidants, without compromising on taste. “What sets The Blend’s shakes apart from competitors is that protein component,” says Taylor. “These aren’t just smoothies with yogurt and a bunch of sugar. These shakes are fuel.”
And fuel they will. The mission of The Blend is as simple as its menu. “We want to fuel people to perform faster and stronger and really… just to keep on living,” says Kiblin. “For us it’s more than just the shakes or the bars. It’s an overall mindset of what you put in, you get out. Whether that be food into your body or effort into your goal. Life is what you make it and we want to give people an option to make their’s a healthy one.”
Taylor and Kiblin believe the menu is what will attract people to their food truck, they add, “We believe we will be successful because we’re a family business. Buffalo is all about family and we think people will respond to that. I think locals will embrace the healthy choice, and ultimately embrace us because we have a story.”
Taylor’s story is one full of twists and turns, that ultimately led her to where she is today. She graduated from Ithaca College with her masters in speech pathology, although her passion was always in fitness. To sustain her love of exercise, she continued to work in a health club teaching classes, and eventually went on to become the director of fitness at a local fitness center. Despite the fact she now works full time for the Buffalo Public School District, Taylor operates an extremely successful personal training business, Drive Fitness, where she trains in-home over fifteen clients. “My speech degree was for practicality. My personal training is my passion. And The Blend is for my family.”
By Sidney Bernardoni