Portion sizes may be consistent in the prepared meals Geneva and Paul Tristan serve at their food truck on Main Street, but their business is expanding.

The couple started the business in early 2018, when they intended to only sell meals to members of the gym where they both coached.

As the news of the business spread, they chose to open to the public. Now with about 80 weekly meal plan subscribers, twice what they had in spring 2018, Clean Plate has grown beyond the confines of the truck and moved into a new location on Airline Road.

“It’s just space,” Paul Tristan said. “Going from a little 10-by-6 food truck to a building is a big relief.”

Since opening the business, Paul Tristan left his job as a supervisor at a petrochemical plant to work full-time at Clean Plate. In addition to running the business with her husband, Geneva Tristan continues to coach at Elite Fitness Strength and Conditioning.

Teri Moten, 46, decided to try Clean Plate when it became difficult to balance her own meal prepping with a busy schedule.

“I’m extremely busy myself,” Moten said. “I have a sales job, and I’m also an entrepreneur and just didn’t have time to prepare meals like I wanted to.”

After trying Clean Plate’s meal prep service and liking it, Moten decided to split a 10-meal weekly subscription plan with her 14-year-old daughter, a cheerleader at Faith Academy.

Moten, who has tried frozen meals and other prepared foods before, said the flavor of Clean Plate’s meals exceeded her expectations.

“Their food is seasoned wonderfully,” Moten said. “Very rarely do you get prepared meals that are well-seasoned.”

In additional to weekly plans, which are offered in “lean,” “fit” and “bulk” sizes, the couple sells breakfast options, including protein donuts and parfaits.

Paul Tristan said he and his wife recently hired his younger sister, Kimberly Tristan, a pastry chef, to work with them at Clean Plate.

In the new location, Tristan said he hopes to hire additional staff and open for more hours throughout the day.

The Tristans’ business journey has been a personal one as well.

The premade packaged meals Clean Plate sells use the same recipes that helped Geneva Tristan go from 230 to 130 pounds in two years. She hopes her business can help others make healthy choices.

Paul Tristan said he cooks primarily because of his cousin, Daniel Zarate Jr., who died in a car crash in 2006.

“His heart ended up going to a chef,” Tristan said.

When the chef and organ recipient, Kevin Nurse, died in 2010, Tristan said he was left to continue his cousin’s legacy through his own work.

“I’m the only one still holding onto that dream,” Tristan said.

In Clean Plate’s new shop, Tristan has framed newspaper clippings commemorating his two inspirations.

Morgan is the business reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at (361) 580-6328, mohanlon@vicad.com or @mcohanlon.

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Morgan covers business for the Victoria Advocate. She was born and raised in Austin, Texas and received her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

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