Note: This is one in a series of articles that focuses on local, one-of-a-kind businesses –– who they are, what they offer, and how they help Shawnee stand out as a unique and thriving city where families interact, invest their time and talent, and work together as a community.

After growing up in the restaurant business and a few years in the public education system, Fiorella Quary decided it was time to open up a The Hungry Hippo food truck in Shawnee.

“Shawnee is a nice town that has everything to offer without ever having to leave,” Quary said. “My husband and I were kicking around the idea. I wasn't making enough money teaching. We started doing events in Oklahoma City and took off.”

With a unique menu selection, even the pickiest of eaters can find something to eat on the Hippo's menu.

“A lot of research went into creating our menu,” Quary said. “If you're vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, eat meat or want a salad there is something for you. We designed the menu for an entire family.”

Each day of the work week, Quary will set up shop at an area business. Sometimes she makes the trip to Oklahoma City, but more often than not she's somewhere local.

“In Shawnee I'm a brick and mortar slash food truck,” Quary said. “Every other Monday I'm at House of Flowers. Every other Tuesday you can find me at Unit Liner. The third Monday of every month I'm at the Clinic Pharmacy.”

Since starting in 2014, Quary noticed the regulars follow her wherever she parks the truck.

“I'll have customers call me in the morning and find out where I'm at,” she said. “They'll text me their orders and I'll have it ready for them to pick up.”

Quary purchases fresh ingredients daily.

“I'll start the day by going to the store and picking up fresh produce,” she said. “I shop every day because I don't have a walk-in cooler. The food is always fresh and always turning over.”

The Healthy Hippo has a special grill and cooking utensils for those with gluten allergies.

“If you order from me, you know it's truly going to be safe,” Quary said. “I have a special grill and spatula to use for those who can't eat gluten.”

The food truck community is a very helpful atmosphere, Quary said.

“If there are several food trucks at an event, we will all help each other,” she said. “If I run out of onions, I know I can go to the truck next to me and they will help out. It's probably somewhat competitive, but I know that everything good comes back to you.”

The Shawnee community has been very supportive of the Hippo since its inception.

“We are so thankful for the support of the Shawnee community,” Quary said. “Not only does it keep me from having to drive to the city every day, I get to serve a wonderful community.”

The Healthy Hippo also caters weddings, rehearsal dinners and employee appreciation lunches

For more information, or to view a menu visit www.thehealthyhippo.com. They can also be found on Facebook by searching 'The Healthy Hippo.'