September 4, 2019 1.50 pm This story is over 55 months old

Lincoln smoothie and plant-based burger bar gets veggie tastebuds tingling

Plenty of variety to try

A local couple has upcycled and converted a mobile horsebox to provide Lincoln with a healthy and tasty smoothie and homemade plant-based burger bar.

Vegetarians and health enthusiasts Stephen Gidlow, 38, and his partner Marta Kompinska, 31, launched a new business called The Mint Box this summer.

BBQ Jackfruit Burgers. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The Mint Box is currently trading at City Square outside Central Market every Saturday and on St Marks some Sundays (both 11am-4pm). It will also trial Fridays at City Square over the next few weeks.

The Lincolnite caught up with the business at Lincoln College’s Big Welcome week where they are trading 8am-3pm Wednesday and Thursday, September 4-5.

The Mint Box. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The Mint Box

Stephen told The Lincolnite: “We were both disappointed when it came to looking for healthy and tasty veggie/vegan food options when eating out and felt that something needed to be done.

“There’s a lot of convenient junk food out there, but not a lot of quality and varied vegetarian food that everyone would enjoy.

“We wanted something really quirky, eye-catching and unique to deliver our nutritious food and drinks from, so we decided to professionally upcycle and convert a horse box. This gives us the dynamism of being mobile.”

Mexican Black Bean Burger. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Tofu Fish Burger. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The BBQ Jackfruit Burger. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Stephen has a 12-year background as an established personal trainer and nutritional coach at Hol-Fit (within PureGym).

Marta has worked in catering, previously fed resident bobbies on the beat at a local police station, and the couple said they have already had great feedback about their products.

The Mint Box menu. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Plant-based burgers and smoothies

The menu consists of vibrant raw smoothies, real cacao chocolate drinks and fruit protein shakes costing £3-4. This includes flavours such as vanilla pear and carrot cake and the business uses its own  nut milks as the base.

The Mint Box doesn’t use fruit juice from concentrate or ice. Instead it uses frozen fruits that don’t dilute flavour.

The Mint Box co-owner Marta Kompinska making a fresh smoothie. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

BBQ Jackfruit, Mexican Black Bean and Tofu Fish burgers are also available to buy priced at £5, accompanied by homemade sauces and garnishes.

The Mint Box promises to serve foods that are GMO-free, have no artificial preservatives, flavourings, colourings and have no refined sugars or trans-fats.

Owners Stephen Gidlow and Marta Kompinska stood proudly at The Mint Box. Photo: Joseph Verney for The Lincolnite

The Mint Box uses their own nut milks as the base of the drinks. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

A local baker from Nocton produces the vegan burger buns.

Local honey is sourced from Doddington Farm as an option to sweeten the drinks.

Stephen added: “Whichever direction we take with the Mint Box we want to stay true to our Healthy-Eco values to best serve our local community and the planet at large!”

The Mint Box. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

In the cooler autumn/winter months The Mint Box will also be showcasing specialties fruit/herbal teas, Wellness lattes, vegan hot chocolate and soups.

The Mint Box prides itself on being ‘ECO’ with all its packaging being compostable and not using single use plastic. Customers are encouraged to bring their own cups that can be filled up for them.

It also uses eco-friendly cleaning products.

Trading at events

The Mint Box is also hoping to move from operating just weekends in the near future and will be trading at some upcoming events.

This includes the University of Lincoln Sports Fair on September 17 (12pm-6pm) and the Fresher Street Food Market on September 19 (12pm-4pm).

It will also consider working alongside Deliver and Uber Eats for home delivery and could even open up a permanent alternative eatery in Lincoln in the future.

The business can also be hired out for corporate or social events. Click here to find out when The Mint Box will be frequenting Lincoln.

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