SILVAN is not only a man with a plan, but he has a van and is becoming a lean green eco-friendly cooking machine.

Aksen Karaalp is the man behind and inside Silvan’s Van and this van has become a favourite lunch time pit stop for many shoppers and office workers in Taunton.

The reason Silvan’s Van is leading the green revolution is in the food on the new menu which is very healthy and also encourages customers to bring their own bowls and cups or mugs instead of adding to the plastic or paper cup mountain.

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Talking about this, Aksen said: “I encourage people to bring their own bowls and cups.

“It all helps the environment and it is something which we can all benefit from.

"It makes less of an impact on the planet doing it this way.”

The other impact Aksen is making is with his menus. He likes to ‘keep things fresh’ while making sure all his regular customers do not go without their favourite meals.

The new menu focusses on a new set of wraps which include:

- Chicken Sharwarma: marinated chicken, paprika meze, yoghurt, chilli, salad

- Kofte: Seasoned beef, meze salad, hummus, Tzatziki

- Peri Peri Chicken: marinated chicken breast, roasted pepper, salad, peri peri

- Chicken Gyros: marinated chicken, meze salad, hummus, tzatziki, chilli - Halloumi smacker: grilled holloumi, roasted pepper, lettuce, meze, yoghurt

- Falafel & Tzatziki: spiced falafel, tzatziki, lettuce, meze, mango chutney.

All wraps £4-add extra halloumi £1.

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These is also Silvan’s Souvlaki: all served with warm Greek pitta bread with home-made tzatziki, spicy fresh tomato meze, red onion and parsley salad.

- The special: Skewer of chicken with two slices of grilled halloumi £6

- The Classic: skewer of chicken £5

- The veggie: four slices of grilled halloumi £5

There is a selection of burgers:

- Double bacon cheeseburger: beef, bacon, American cheese

- manburger: beef, bacon cheddar, egg

- The Italian Job: beef , Mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes

- The Stinking bishop: beef, blue cheese, apple and ale chutney

- Angry bear: beef, cheddar, jalapeños, chilli dressing

- Mediterranean burger: beef, onions, roasted peppers, yoghurt sauce, chilli

- Full English: beef, sausage, bacon, mushrooms, egg, tomato relish.

Talking about the new menu, Aksen said: “What I discovered was more and more people wanted healthier food as there was a demand for it.

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"What happened was by selling the wraps business tripled with a 60 per cent increase in wraps and flat bread.

“I wanted to introduce something which was healthier, made differently, made fresh and had the taste of the Mediterranean.

"It gave people a healthier option when getting lunch rather than having a burger every day.

“And I like to give my customers the best and insure my prices are competitive.

“All wraps are £4 and the food prices range from £2.75 to the most expensive at £5.75.

“I enjoy being creative and creating new menus. Having worked in restaurants in Eastern Turkey I feel I can bring the flavour of my country to these wraps.

“Eastern Turkey is the heart of wraps as this is the area they come from originally.”

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Silvan’s Van celebrated its first birthday in March.

"While it has not technically travelled along way as it is parked in the same spot during the week, it has given Aksen a journey he will never forget.

He said: “When I started just over a year ago, the first three months were terrible and the following three while an improvement were just as bad.

“At the start I was really worried as I had put all my savings into the business and it was not working.

“When I started it was breakfasts and burgers and then I had to start bring in new menus.

"I needed to do something different and do things which people wanted.

“From that moment on business picked up.

“It started to grow and while I would like more space, I am happy things have grown organically .

“Sometimes people have to wait but they know they are getting something cooked fresh from scratch for them.

"I have lots of regular customers who come for the food they like.

“I enjoy being creative as I think this is one of my strengths.

“I feel as a business I need to be competitive not only with the price but what I can offer to customers.

“My first 15 months in business has given me a lot of confidence since everything picked up.

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“I have learnt so much and have plans for the future.

“One being to possibly get a permanent location as well as having the van.

“So there could be a lot going on for me in the next two years.

"It is exciting and I will just have to wait and see.”

Yeovil Express:

You can find Silvan’s (French) Van in Taunton town centre in North Street outside NatWest and Vodaphone shops.

He is open Monday- Friday 8am-4pm in the winter and 8am-5pm in the summer months