We all have our list of guilty pleasures–the things we love though we know they’re not the best choice. As a trashy TV addict and baker, my personal list is at least a mile long. Thankfully, Avery Harris of Austin’s SAvery Grilled Cheese food truck has found a way to take the guilt out of one America’s favorite comfort foods, one cheesy bite at a time.
One Trip, One Cause, One Inspired Cook
In summer 2013, Harris embarked on a whirlwind journey across 11 countries in 11 months. Her travels brought her face to face with a social issue most people would like to believe no longer exists: slavery.
As she worked alongside agencies devoted to providing freedom and support to victims, she was alarmed at how engrained slavery is in modern day society. Ultimately, Harris realized her own passion for this issue would stretch beyond the duration of her trip. She wanted to raise awareness and support for the cause, even when she was back in Austin.
To do so, she started with what she already loved. “I’ve always appreciated social enterprises that not only benefit customers, but also [contribute to] a greater cause!” Harris said of her initial inspiration to found her Austin food truck. “So I decided, why not combine my love for cooking with my passion for [raising] awareness of the issue of modern day slavery?”
With a full heart, a pile of recipes that spanned the globe, and a savvy Austin personality, Harris opened SAvery Grilled Cheese in April 2015.
Grilled Cheesin’ for a Reason
Harris choose grilled cheese to be the star at her food truck so she could “use comfort food to bring comfort to others!”
When patrons come to the bright purple SAvery food truck and order off its drool-worthy menu, they can munch happily knowing 10% of proceeds go towards organizations that combat modern day slavery and raise awareness of its continuing existence.
SAvery patrons can learn about the organization their money is going to as they eat. Quick facts about slavery are also available on SAvery’s website. Harris is showing her customers that they can easily give back.
It’s clear that her head and heart are in the right place. Not everyone likes to have information shoved on them. Slavery is a heavy issue that needs to be addressed, but can be intimidating. That’s why Harris’ take is so ingenious. She is meeting people in their comfort zone by feeding them bite-sized facts that are easily digestible. Pun intended.
And just like that–with two slices of bread and delectable, cheesy accompaniments–Harris has made the world a little more aware of the enslavement of individuals taking place around the world every day.
SAvery Sandwiches for Everyone
Just like any adept foodie, Harris has designed a menu t0 please all palates. Options range from smashingly simple to gorgeously gourmet. The Yo Mama’s is for the die-hard classic grilled cheese lover. It features three cheeses on premium white bread, grilled to perfection.
A little more sophisticated, the Austinite holds Gruyere cheese, kale in a vinaigrette and prosciutto with a lemon chèvre spread on smoky bread.
Harris admits her immense sweet tooth led her to choose cookie dough egg rolls as her favorite item on the menu. Inspired by a dish she tried in Cambodia, she fries dessert egg rolls with chocolate chip cookie dough in the middle and tops them with Blue Bell ice cream and homemade hot fudge.
I’ll take the whole menu!
Hand-Picked Ingredients and Partners
When Harris chooses an organization to donate her proceeds to, she makes sure they are the right fit. Many organizations are ones she originally encountered on her trip. But when she considers new candidates, she makes an effort to talk to the leaders of each program. Harris wants to ensure that all her cheesy, loved-filled donations take real action. “I want to ensure that men, women and children are being taken out of slavery, not just recognized that they are [victims] of slavery.”
Not that anyone ever needs an excuse to eat grilled cheese, but if you’ve been looking for one, I think we’ve found it. The SAvery food truck moves all over Austin, so be sure to check it out when it rolls into your neck of the woods!
Check out the SAvery Grilled Cheese menu, lunch locations, events and learn facts about modern day slavery on the food truck’s website.
@theAustinot wants to know:
Have you tried SAvery Grilled Cheese yet? What is your favorite treat on the menu?
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