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How a bustling food truck opened a brick-and-mortar location with help from Arlington

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that highlights Arlington-based startups, founders, and local tech news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

A local health foods truck opened a brick-and-mortar location this year with help from a small business resource offered by Arlington County.

Health Pub, which offers organic, vegan açai bowls and smoothies, was launched as a food truck in April 2022 by Jan Moyo and Kewan Masoud.

They applied for and were accepted into ReLaunch, a small business grant program managed by Arlington Economic Development that helps entrepreneurs with financial and strategic planning, record keeping, improving branding and increasing their digital presence.

Through the program, the founders got connected with mentor companies and received a new website and consulting services for free. Eligible companies must be located in Arlington, have an up to date Arlington business license and operate in the county within the last month, according to AED’s website. They must also have fewer than 50 employees.

“With BizLaunch, we were looking to get assistance on things we couldn’t do ourselves. Things like setting up your website can set your marketing back and BizLaunch helps with that,” Moyo tells ARLnow. “We always want to utilize all the resources the county offers and BizLaunch was a blessing in that regard.”

Since then, Health Pub has added its first physical location in the food court at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (1100 S. Hayes Street), and has gone from two to seven employees. Moyo says Arlingtonians love Health Pub’s açai bowls, smoothies and juices.

“In Arlington — being a healthy county — people have really embraced our product and our brand,” Moyo said. “Even our popularity in terms of the calls we get for events, the lines we have whenever we are at an event, has just been amazing and mind-blowing.”

HealthPub’s brick-and-mortar location in Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (via HealthPub/Facebook)

Over the next five years, Health Pub says it plans to open more storefronts and food trucks throughout the D.C. area, and is considering franchising the brand nationally.

Initially, the plan was to franchise just food trucks, but Moyo said he and his business partner found the trucks needed support from brick-and-mortar locations, such as during the winter months, when the food truck does not operate.

“For us to properly franchise, we’re working on our model store and model truck,” Moyo said. “Once we draw the proper plans, that’s when we’ll offer the brand as a franchise to other people.”

While Health Pub is not the only local purveyor of açai bowls, smoothies and juices, Moyo says the food truck distinguishes Health Pub from competitors like South Block.

“We’re are going to be around you in some way,” he said. “We are always a popular option because we’re the healthiest food truck in the DMV area. Any event we go to, we always get long lines and we always are booked throughout the week.”

Once spring arrives next year, folks will be able to find the food truck every Sunday at the Columbia Pike farmers market, every Wednesday at the Rosslyn farmers market, and other locations in Arlington and D.C.

The line to order from local food truck Health Pub when it stopped at the Catholic University of America in D.C. in October (via Health Pub/Facebook)

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