The story behind Flippin’ Filipino—5 things to know

flippin filipino
Meet Mary, the owner of Flippin’ Filipino. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

Out and about in Huntsville, you may have seen a bold blue food truck—with people flocking around it.

They’re flocking to get some authentic Filipino food from Mary Chappell’s food truck—Flippin’ Filipino.

We talked with Mary to get the story behind her beloved blue food truck, and here’s what we found out.

1. Mary is originally from the Philippines

flippin filipino
She’s full of energy and knowledge of authentic Filipino cooking. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

Mary grew up in the Philippines and moved to the Gulf Shores area when she was 12 years old.

In 2019, she moved to Huntsville—and found a city that she loved.

Mary loves the fast-growing environment of Huntsville and the culture here. However, when she moved here, she noticed that there wasn’t any authentic Filipino food available.

When the pandemic started, Mary said she, “knew she needed to do something.” She was working a dead-end job in the medical field, and decided that it was time for a change.

2. She started Flippin’ Filipino out of a love for cooking and food

flippin filipino
These lumpia are incredible. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

Mary has a passion for cooking and Filipino food, which started at an early age and continued throughout her life.

“I grew up cooking. Every time there’s a gathering I’m always in the kitchen.”

Mary Chappell, owner of Flippin’ Filipino

When she was working in the medical field, she brought her love of cooking there, too.

“I was already cooking for my coworkers. I loved cooking, and they loved my food.”

Mary Chappell, owner of Flippin’ Filipino

So, with encouragement from family and friends, she started Flippin’ Filipino in 2021.

“The dream came true because it was something I prayed over.”

Mary Chappell, owner of Flippin’ Filipino

3. Flippin’ Filipino has seen a lot of growth

flippin filipino
The little blue food truck is getting more and more well-known. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

Mary’s food truck is part of a growing trend in Huntsville—but hers is the only one serving up authentic Filipino street food.

Her mission is to make Filipino cuisine and culture more known in our community.

“The Filipino culture has a lot to offer…for it to be known—that’s very gratifying.”

Mary Chappell, owner of Flippin’ Filipino

And Huntsville can’t get enough of it.

“The business has grown tremendously since when I first started. The love for the authentic cuisine—that’s awesome.”

Mary Chappell, owner of Flippin’ Filipino

So, what is that cuisine that Huntsville’s been loving? Let’s take a look.

4. The most popular item is the lumpia

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Mary explained each item to me—and they all sounded delicious. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

The menu at Flippin’ Filipino is full of authenticity and flavor, with dishes like caldereta (Filipino pork stew), pancit (Filipino rice noodles) and Filipino barbecue.

But, the most popular is the lumpia—spring rolls stuffed with pork or veggies, hand-rolled and fried.

Mary’s personal favorite dishes, though, are the pancit and the caldereta.

You really can’t go wrong with any of Mary’s cooking, though. It’s all delicious—and also on the healthier side.

As a Crohn’s survivor, healthy diet and lifestyle is important to Mary. So, she incorporates those healthy practices into the cooking she does for Flippin’ Filipino.

Hungry yet? Here’s where you can find Mary’s food.

5. You can find Flippin’ Filipino around town

flippin filipino
Lunch time! (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

Flippin’ Filipino is often parked at the NASA Food Truck Corral, but she also makes appearances in Research Park and at markets.

But, if you just can’t wait to get your lumpia, Mary also takes orders and does catering.

You can check out her social media pages to find out where she’ll be next and how you can get some of her authentic Filipino cooking.

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Sarah Gronberg
Sarah Gronberg
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