July 31, 2019

Cross country in a DIY camper van

I just got back from a 3 week road trip with my family. I promised more than once to send pictures along the way but I didn’t. I’m not sure why. I think I was just enjoying being off grid. Just wanted to keep those experiences to myself at the moment.

Now I’m back in Boston. Man it’s good to eat Clover again. I’ve been doubling up on my meals, breakfast at CloverKND and CloverFIN, lunch at CloverDTX and CloverHUB. Everything tastes awesome and I’m so proud of everybody.

I bought an old Clover bread van. A 144” wheelbase Sprinter from 2012. I bought this van new from a dealership north of Boston. We used it for 3 years to do daily  bread runs to New Jersey to pick up our pita bread. Then we started baking the bread and the van has been sitting in a parking lot occasionally coming out for Clover field trips.

We did a DIY camper-van. Beds, fridge, storage, sink. No toilet. My wife Brooke, our kids Clementine, Blue, and Violet, and our dogs Tulip and Snorri got in the van and drove West. Each morning we looked at the map and decided where to go next. We camped a ton. I have some fun details to share about our travels and the van build. I know I’m not the only one out there who has been dreaming about a DIY camper van for years.

I return feeling antsy. This thing we’re working on — trying to figure out how to get meat loving Americans to enjoy meals without meat — it feels more urgent to me than ever. We need to do much more and faster. It needs to be a group effort.

Best meal on the trip: Campfire cooking in Nebraska
Best meal on trip from a restaurant: Crooked Ewe, South Bend, Indiana
Meal that left us not wanting to eat for a few days: Pizza By the Pound in Paducha, KY
Most surprising new food experience: Tie: Raw cane juice with Pennywort at Cococane in LA; Navajo Taco at 4-corners (Fry bread with taco fixings)
Food item I brought back that I’m most excited to use: Blue corn masa I got from a Navajo reservation
Coolest food item at Disneyland: Coke Grenade at Star Wars Land
Best ambiance: Eating blueberry bowls (my son’s invention, like Acai bowls) out of our van at an off-the-path vista in Mesa Verde enjoying the early morning dessert
Sandiest meal: Pickle and cheddar sandwiches on a sandy rock at the end of a flooded slot canyon on Lake Powell
Best company at a meal: Joining re-enactors playing John Muir and Teddy Rosevelt for a campfire breakfast at the Grand Canyon
Best booze: Rye at Willet Distillery in KY

Recent Posts

May 14, 2024
About a year and a half ago, at an open-to-the-public food development meeting at Clover, we blind taste-tested a new plant-based pulled pork. This wasn’t a totally new thing for us to do—as a company with a climate mission, we tend to get a lot of samples of plant-based everything, and we love trying all of them. We’ve tried mycelium-based mushroom meats, wheat-and-soy nuggets, and burgers made from kelp. One bite in, and it was clear this pulled pork was special.
May 8, 2024
Squeaky paneer, mint cilantro chutney, chaat, and our first-ever collab with a local chef. Remember when Pushpir came into the kitchen and schooled us on Northern Indian food? That was 2013. A different CloverHSQ than the one you visit today (back then we were at 7 Holyoke St, across the street from where Kevin and his team now serve you). I still remember the smell of the cilantro, mint, jalapeños, and orange juice Pushpir was blending in the Vitamix. We hadn’t smelled that exact combo before…
April 16, 2024
This week has been a flurry of preparations as we kick off the 2024 food truck season. We did an event at Tufts over the weekend, in a few days we’ll be selling breakfast and lunch at a conference at the Media Lab at MIT, and this weekend we’ll be pulling up to a private party with sandwiches and appetizers.
March 27, 2024
Every year, just after Valentine’s Day, we start getting the same question in from customers: Will there be a Passover Box this year? Sometimes the pleas are more direct, sometimes more colorful. The glories of the vegetarian Chopped Liver are a common theme. This year, Sarah, an NYC-based friend of mine said she’s spent so much time thinking about the emails describing last year’s box that she’s DRIVING UP TO BOSTON to claim one!
February 15, 2024
We have a new sandwich out everywhere today. It’s a take on a Buffalo Chicken sandwich. We use celery root, aka celeriac, this nobbly, gnarled joy of a winter vegetable. We cut it into planks, batter it with panko, and fry it. We’re getting ours from Norwich Meadows Farm, a farm in NY state that’s known for creating really flavorful organic veggies using a cool irrigation system. 
February 7, 2024
For the week of Valentine’s Day, we’ll be delivering these Making Whoopie (Pie) Kits 😉. They have everything you need to make whoopie pies — more specifically, Chris’ favorite oatmeal cakes with beet buttercream frosting. You’ll also get a scoop for making the perfect size pie, and a roll of sugar cookie dough for more sweet fun.
January 18, 2024
Pull out your plaid and cue up the bagpipes because it’s Clover’s third-ever celebration of Burns Night, an introduction to Scottish food/drink/music/poetry and a reason to raise a glass during this dark and cold month! You may be asking yourself, what is Burns Night?
January 17, 2024
Chances are you’ve tried the new Clover Bowls. We’ve been running them since the Spring. After a few tweaks, we landed on a roster we love: the Mediterranean Bowl, the Verde Rice and Bean Bowl, and a Rotating Seasonal Bowl. The bowls have transformed our menu – Josh, a Kendall customer, recently wrote to us, “The beet poke bowl is the best new item I’ve tried at Clover in years. I love the freshness and bite of the mix of flavors.” We’ve also heard some very good suggestions about how to make them even better…
January 3, 2024
Meet the Veggie Monster Meal Box! Some of you are subscribers to our Friday newsletter about plant-based cooking. Now… that newsletter has spawned a meal box! Pack your fridge with everything you need to make an entire week of vegetable-based meals. Think hearty pot pies; sweet and spicy maple-roasted squash tacos; bowls packed with…
December 20, 2023
New Year’s Eve is no time to be buried in the kitchen, so we pack our NYE Box with Clover fan favorites that come together fast and encourage a night of Finger-Food Feasting. Can you think of anything better than digging into bubbling hot Brussels Sprout Cheese dip on a freezing cold Boston night? Or scooping up our bright nutty Romesco sauce as the clock ticks to midnight?  And our breakthrough Carrot Lox (probably the best thing to come out of our food dev in 2023) will have you resolving to spare more salmon in the year ahead.
December 19, 2023
Stop by Clover today (Tuesday 12/19) and when you order a Brussels Sandwich on the app, we’ll give you $1 off our new chocolate chip cookie! It’s a gift from King Brussels, on his final day in the Clover Kingdom. Use this link to get yours!
December 16, 2023
Are you looking for the perfect gift for a friend who loves Clover? We have online gift cards! You can specify a time that you’d like the card to hit their inbox – and there’s a new feature that lets multiple people pool money to send a card to one person. Pretty cool!