Shakti Food Truck Keeps It Rad at Whitefish Mountain Resort
“Have a rad day!”
The words trailed after me from the window of the food truck as I dove into a piping hot Knee Deep Burrito. When first I walked to the counter I was coated with a thick layer of fresh Montana snow and dead tired. Powder days take a lot out of you and I had forgotten my lunch. Buy a burger and fries at the base lodge for $20 and feel worthless? No thanks.
Food at ski resorts is one of the biggest conundrums you will face when your stomach says enough is enough. Have you planned ahead to bring your lunch or will you be forking over the $20 required to pay for the Disney World priced burger at the base area lodge? What if you wanted to purchase something fresh, organic, local, and all around good for you so you don’t feel like a sloth caught in molasses on the hill?
Well, if you find yourself at the base of Chair 1 & 2 at Whitefish Mountain Resort in Whitefish, Montana, a modest food truck is churning out delicious burritos, fresh pressed juices, and super foods you can keep both your wallet and body in check.
Madison Browning, founder of Whitefish-based Shakti Foods and avid skier, found the problem of quality food at ski resorts bothersome.
“I wanted to serve an active population because these [ski resorts] are filled with active people, but the food doesn’t reflect that at all…I was about to start a social impact donut food truck in Hawaii but then I realized I don’t like donuts that much and they don’t do good for the human body.”
Shakti, meaning power or empowerment in Hindi, is hell bent on giving skiers real food and the best chance to succeed. The menu is small and includes items such as the Knee Deep Burrito–fitting for the powder frenzied Montana resort that has seen 121 inches of snow in March alone–fresh pressed juices, the Hangover Cure Smoothie, an elixir of honey, lemon, and ginger called the Flu Shot, and then, perhaps the hallmark of the operation, superfood packed goodies.
A former D-1 athlete at the University of San Diego, Browning was always keen on the ways of good nutrition. It wasn’t, however, until her mother was diagnosed with and then consequently cured of cancer that a dramatic sea change took place within her.
“After learning so much about food and the effects on the human body and how superfoods can literally cure people’s cancer (Mom is cancer free and been drinking superfoods mushrooms), I became obsessed.”
In addition to the aforementioned menu items, you’ll be faced with new choices that you may have never heard of. Try the Superfood Coffee with Cordyceps and Chaga, or, now that Spring is upon us and the ice is getting thin, go for the Chocolate Protein Reishi Mushroom Smoothie. Oh, and it’s only $7. Try finding that at your local ski hill. While yes, the thought of mushrooms in a smoothie isn’t exactly something you will spend your nights dreaming of, the taste is surprisingly delicious and your body will thank you.
And beyond just fueling your body, Shakti is, as every on-mountain establishment should be, committed to the environment. Having traveled around the world and after visiting package-free grocery stores in Germany, Browning went on to spend years prior to Shakti researching eco-friendly packaging and is even working on developing a new certification for packaging standards, called Pebble Certified.
To say this small food truck is modest understates the impact such a small operation can have.
While food trucks continue to pop up all around the country, Shakti seems to take the preexisting standards of food service and up the ante. Without a large operating overhead, this food truck can afford to purchase higher quality ingredients while keeping prices low, and the best part about it? It’s at the base of the chair lift. As we move forward into the future of resort skiing, I hope to see more food trucks like this–it represents small grassroots counterculture to the mega conglomeration of resorts everywhere, where an individual can set up a food operation for a relatively low cost and ultimately make someone’s day a little better. Here’s to keeping it small, folks.