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Rollin Roots food truck burns down

Devastated and frustrated, Avonte has experienced a whole spectrum of emotions since finding his food truck totally destroyed.

SAN DIEGO — The popular Rollin Roots food truck has been in high demand for events all over San Diego with their delicious vegan food, but owner Avonte Hartsfield is facing a difficult setback after the food truck burnt to the ground over the weekend.

“It’s everything,” said Avonte. “It was my entire life.”

Devastated and frustrated, Avonte has experienced a whole spectrum of emotions since finding his food truck totally destroyed.

“There is really nothing to explain how much it means and how much it was to me,” said Avonte.  “I can’t think of a word because sad doesn’t really do it justice.  It’s really heartbreaking.”

You may have seen his successful food truck business Rollin Roots profiled on News 8 this past year when he was feeding the homeless and sharing with us about his main inspiration for cooking.

“Family, my grandmother,” said Avonte.  “Watching her cook when I was little in the kitchen.  That’s where I get most of it from.”

The recent truck fire is a discouraging setback for Avonte, not only for financial reasons, but also emotionally.

“I came here and I just couldn’t do anything,” said Avonte. “I was just in such a slump.”

After finding the truck burnt to the ground at his office on Armour Street in Kearny Mesa, he called police and filed a report.  Investigators are looking into the possibility of arson but so far there aren’t any leads or witnesses, and there are no surveillance cameras in the area.

“To have this, it makes you not want to continue,” said Avonte. 

Admittedly, he was discouraged and thought about throwing in the towel.

“I’ve definitely been so resilient and it just wears down on you always having to be resilient, and I was just tired of it,” said Avonte.

But with an outpouring of support and love from the community, he is motivated to get another food truck up and running as soon as possible.

“I woke up this morning with a new mindset that I’m not going to let this hold me back,” said Avonte.  “We put so much good out there, I can’t stop.  I can’t go back now.”

Avonte is working on a claim with his business insurance policy, and has set up a GoFundMe for additional support.  He doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“The food truck is popular.  We’re busy,” said Avonte.  “People are always requesting us to go to their events, so I definitely want to get another food truck as soon as possible.”

WATCH RELATED: Out and About | Rollin Roots (Sept. 2021)