Being a full-time college student comes with its own set of challenges, but imagine owning a small business on top of everything.

This is the norm for Abby Voelker, senior at Evangel University and owner of Abby’s Acai Company.

Voelker was inspired to start her business in July 2020 after a trip to California when she saw how abundant acai food trucks were on the coast and decided to bring one to Springfield.

“While I was in California, I started to look up food trucks for sale near Springfield, and my mom and I found one we loved in Rogersville and went and picked it up together,” Voelker said.

Voelker and her mother renovated the truck together, and by August 2020, they were ready to set up shop at the Farmer’s Market of the Ozarks.

“For the renovations, I had to deep clean everything first, take out the wooden walls inside the truck and replace them, sanded and painted all of the cabinets, and built a shelf to serve out of the truck from on the outside,” Voelker said.

Voelker said being a small business owner allows her to meet all kinds of people and other small business owners are very supportive and act as a community, which is her favorite part of all of it.

Starting a business can be overwhelming and comes with challenges, but Voelker said she’s grateful she has her family’s support, in addition to how welcoming her debut into the food truck world has been.

“When we had to figure out the renovations within my food truck, that was probably the biggest challenge,” Voelker said. “I didn't know how to start on renovations within the truck, so I am so thankful for my family's help with that part.” 

Time management is also an important component in owning a business, and Voelker said she owes staying organized through prayer and having a good planner.

Allowing time on the weekends to devote towards the truck and using the weekdays for school helps keep things separated and easier to manage, according to Voelker.

Starting a business in the middle of a pandemic has not been easy, but Voelker owes her success to the supportive Springfield community and turns to prayer for guidance.

“The Lord helped guide my path throughout this time, and I believe it was all in his plan and timing, and starting a business in the middle of the pandemic would not have happened without God's guidance,” Voelker said.

You can catch Voelker and her mom at their food truck at The Farmer’s Market of the Ozarks on E Republic Rd. on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and watch for other sightings on her Instagram, @abbysacaico


Follow Britney Huish on Twitter, @brithuish

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