Make-A-Wish makes a Big Timber boy’s dream come true: a juice food truck
BIG TIMBER — Smoothie & Cream isn’t just a food truck. It’s Barrett Artukovic’s way of giving back to the Big Timber community.
The 12-year-old has been in remission from stage 4 Hodgkins lymphoma for several years and used Make-A-Wish to make Big Timber a little sweeter.
Most kids aren’t business owners, but most kids haven’t had as much life as Barrett.
“He was a pretty normal kid, but then we started to notice some lethargy and lethargy and fatigue, and he looked a little pale,” Barrett’s mother, Heather, said.
Barrett was diagnosed with cancer and spent six months of his life going back and forth to Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver for chemotherapy when he was seven years old.
“I remember not feeling well when I was given chemotherapy,” Barrett said.
It’s something the Artukovichs say they’ve succeeded in doing with the help of the community.
“All my students shaved their heads because I lost my hair,” Barrett said.
“It didn’t matter who or where or what, everyone just wrapped their arms around us, and I was blown away,” Heather said.
That’s partly why Barrett decided to use his wish, granted through Make-A-Wish South Dakota and Montana, to open Smoothie & Cream.
“Since so many people helped me beat cancer, I was going to give it back to the Sweet Grass Cancer Alliance,” Barrett said.
The Artukoviches will donate 10% of their proceeds to organizations that support childhood cancer patients across the state.
The idea came from his fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Porter.
“She asked us to create a food truck business, what would it look like, what would the menu be, what would it look like, are we consistent, are we traveling everywhere,” Barrett said.
Barrett stuck with this idea until he was ready to make his wish come true. The foundation outfitted and donated the trailer, but Barrett, with the help of Heather, designed everything else from the menu to the logo.
“I think it’s great that he does that and he seems to be doing well with the taste of these juices,” said 14-year-old Ella Genetti.
It’s a project that’s not only delicious, but inspiring.
“It’s great what he’s doing. It’ll be an incentive for young kids to keep fighting and know that you can do something much better,” said 13-year-old Sammy Vanderhagen.
Barrett hopes the rest of the state gets a taste of this.
“We plan to drive around the Big Timber area and go to Livingston, and maybe Bozeman, so everyone can taste our delicious food,” Barrett said.