Better Burger For A Healthy Planet

Ivy's story

Growing up, I wanted to make the world a better place. And I dreamed of having my own coffee shop someday.

But everything changed in a single day, when, at work in a Subway in San Luis Obispo, I collapsed from cardiac arrest. I woke up in the hospital from a  coma that lasted ten days. I was sixteen years old.


A Dream Deferred

I’m Ivy Alvarado, and now I’m 26 years old. My dreams weren’t shattered the day I collapsed, but they were postponed—until now. Everything in my life so far has led me to my new, revised dream—to have a vegetarian food truck: Plant Ivy Catering: Better Burgers for the Planet, which will allow me to support myself and help others.

Some doctors thought it wouldn’t be possible, but after my coma, I managed to finish high school and take classes at Cuesta College. With the support of family, friends, and the community, I’ve spent ten years in difficult sometimes painful— physical, occupational, and speech therapy (visit

I continue to heal and improve, but much of my therapy is not covered by insurance. That’s why it’s all the more important for me to establish a source of regular income. Check out "The Business Plan"

Because of my brain injury, my stamina is reduced. This makes my dream of a coffee shop impossible now. A food truck is a more realistic goal. I appreciate receiving SSI, but the reality is that no one can live on $850 a month. I want to support myself.


I learned compassion early, from my mom, Melinda, a wildlife Rehabilitator.


I wanted to help people less fortunate, so I volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters.


My dad, Frank, built a fueling station for my first car, so I could lower my carbon impact by running it on veggie oil.