“They’re like, ‘Are you kidding? This is a Mexican food and barbecue town—they’re going to look at you like you’re from another planet,’” he said.
De Alcala embraced the challenge in July 2017 and set up a food truck nestled inside a courtyard in historic downtown Buda, calling it Green Space, TX—complete with an alien logo. “I knew I wanted to be in the heart of downtown Buda, with all its history,” de Alcala said. “It’s the cultural center of Buda.”
The city residents responded with enthusiasm.
“We’ve been embraced by the community. They’ve been very gracious in … allowing something different to come in,“ de Alcala said.
De Alcala, who has lived in Buda for 19 years, said he sees bringing healthful options to the city as an opportunity to help the community in addition to starting a business, and he takes the nutritional aspect of juice seriously, even if he was skeptical at first.
“I thought that perhaps [juice] was another in a long line of different diet fads, but as I became more aware of its benefits and the whole culture around juices and smoothies, I got hooked.”
Before Green Space even opened, he hired interns from the Texas State University nutrition and foods program and had them design the menu. The first juice the interns created, El Tejano—a blend of kale, apple, cucumber, parsley, lemon and jalapeno—remains one of the most popular options. In addition to its juices and smoothies, Green Space sells light fare, such as acai bows, wraps and salads.
De Alcala said part of what sets Green Space apart is its involvement in the community. In addition to keeping a booth at the weekly Sunday farmers market at Buda Mill & Grain and taking every opportunity to speak at schools, churches and civic groups, de Alcala responds to what he hears from locals. For example, he said, in the beginning Green Space was strictly organic, but the cost pushed prices up.
“So we listened to them and they told us where they wanted to see the organics,” de Alcala said, adding that it was mainly in juices and smoothie boosters. “Part of our mission is to increase awareness of plant foods—the benefits of plant foods—but also to increase the access.”
De Alcala said he is looking forward to growing the business as Buda continues to grow.
“We’ve really enjoyed growing our family as the community grows here in Buda ... I can’t wait to see what it looks like for Green Space when we hit 25,000 [residents] or more,” he said. “I wouldn’t have started this business anywhere else.”
Green Space, TX
122 Main St., Buda
Hours: Fri. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m., closed Mon.-Thu. except advanced orders online or by email at email@example.com