BIG TIMBER — Smoothie & Cream isn’t just any food truck. It’s Barrett Artukovich’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 his Make-A-Wish to make Big Timber a little sweeter.
Most kids aren’t business owners, but most kids haven’t been dealt the hand that Barrett was handed in life.
“He was a very normal child, but then we started noticing some lethargy, lethargic and tired, and looked a little pale,” said Barrett’s mom, Heather.
Barrett was diagnosed with cancer and spent six months of his life going back and forth to Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver for chemo treatments when he was seven.
“I remember not feeling so good when getting injected with the chemo,” Barrett said.
It’s something the Artukoviches say they got through with the help of the community.
“My entire class shaved their heads ‘cuz I lost my hair,” said Barrett.
“It didn’t matter who or where or what, everyone just wrapped their arms around us, and I just was blown away,” Heather said.
It’s partly why Barrett decided to use his wish, granted through Make-A-Wish South Dakota and Montana, to open Smoothie & Cream.
“Since a lot of people helped me get through cancer, I was going to give it back to the Sweet Grass Cancer Alliance,” said Barrett.
The Artukoviches will be donating 10% of their proceeds to organizations that support pediatric cancer patients around the state.
The idea came from his fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Porter.
“She told us to make a food truck business and what would it be like, and a menu, and what it would look like, are we stationary, are we traveling all around,” Barrett said.
Barrett held onto that idea until he was ready to make his wish. 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 cool that he’s doing it and he seems like he’s successful by the taste of these smoothies,” said 14-year-old Ella Ginnaty.
It’s a project that’s not only delicious, but inspiring.
“It’s awesome what he’s doing. It would be like a motivation to younger kids to keep fighting and know you can do something a lot better,” said 13-year-old Sammi Vanderhagen.
Barrett hopes the rest of the state will get a taste.
“We plan to go around Big Timber and to go to Livingston, maybe Bozeman, so then everybody can taste our deliciousness,” Barrett said.