ELKO — As the owner of Sisters Food Truck, Jennifer Saxton gets to put her belief of “eating the rainbow” into practice and onto plates.
The Spring Creek resident opened her mobile business this summer, and the food truck can often be found at the Conoco station on Idaho Street. She joins the roster of six food trucks licensed to do business in Elko.
A concise menu features salads and meatball subs with a choice of colorful sauces including spicy Korean, creamy alfredo, bloody Mary-style or marinara. Saxton develops the recipes herself, with the help of two sisters, and tries them on her family members, sometimes at gatherings of 25 people or more.
“It’s very important for me to have all the different colors,” Saxton says, who describes her eaters’ response to the entrees she serves. “Their reaction is, “Oh my God, that looks incredible.”
Beautiful and delicious foods made an entrance into Saxton’s life when daughter Keianna Whempner got interested in cooking at an early age. When she was about 15 years old, Whempner prepared a feast for her mother’s birthday featuring filet mignon and grilled pineapple, Saxton recalls.
“She actually had the passion for it,” she says. “It woke up something inside of me.”
Although the appearance of food is key, nutrition is just as important, Saxton explains. Her son, Jace Saxton, a senior at Spring Creek High School, has type 1 diabetes and Celiac disease. He got her into cooking nutritious meals at home and inspired the food truck’s gluten-free menu offerings.
Nutritional properties are also important to Saxton’s neighbor Wendy Levra. She is a personal trainer at Empower Fitness and a competitive body builder. Although she has not eaten at Sisters Food Truck since Saxton opened because of her strict diet in preparation for a body-building competition, she admits to having nibbled the meatballs and soups that Saxton delivered as a friend to her house.
“You get sick, and she brings over soup. She’s the nicest person in world. And it’s delicious,” Levra says. “She knows how to cook pretty healthy foods that don’t have a lot of sugar and stuff in them, which is what I am into, of course.”
Saxton says she hopes to expand her business to do food preparation for people with special dietary goals, and some of Levra’s workout clients have expressed an interest in those services. Over the winter, Saxton plans to prepare orders in her food truck, which allows her to have an affordable commercial kitchen, and deliver them from her pickup.
In addition to support from neighbor, and the eight children between her and her husband Pace, Saxton leans on the love of her two sisters, after which the food truck is named.
Sister Cheyenne Bilyeu did much of the research into owning a food truck and is almost always willing to run to the store to fetch a cucumber, Saxton says. Sister Shiloh Leavitt lives in the area and is also on hand to help when needed.
“We always been called ‘The Girls’ or ‘The Sisters’ our whole life,” Saxton says, explaining that in her logo, the three types of flowers — two types of lilies and daisies — in a rainbow of colors represent the three sisters.