Community Culture Food Life New Orleans Non-fiction Photography Restaurant Tourist Urban Neighborhood

Mr. Okra: New Orleans Food Truck Icon Dies at 75

Update since blog was 1st posted.

Arthur “Mr. Okra” Robinson, New Orleans’ singing produce vendor, dies at 75

The beloved produce vendor was known across the city for his iconic truck and booming voice, which would advertise his fruits and vegetables for sale.

His stepson, Teddy Stansberry, confirmed Robinson’s death to The New Orleans Advocate. News of Mr. Okra’s death had spread on social media in the hours after his passing. He had been in failing health for some time and friends started a fundraising campaign to help him and pay for repairs to his iconic truck, which featured lettering by folk artist Dr. Bob and was a common sight on the city’s streets.


wp-image-234518600People all over town know New Orleans native Arthur Robinson as Mr. Okra — or sometimes just Okra — his trade name as a roving produce vendor who patrols the streets in a pickup truck packed with fruits and vegetables and painted with renderings of his inventory. His voice — a deep, bullfrog baritone — bellows from the truck-mounted P.A. system, announcing his inventory and its goodness. His banter has been featured on numerous albums by local bands, he’s a regular vendor at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and he was the subject of the 2009 documentary Mr. Okra. [source: New Orleans Gambit]

Mr. Okra appeared on the November 2012 episode of The Goodnight Show!

wp-image-1942397702.wp-image-1494553510.wp-image-609875345Mr. Okra needs our help.

He had some recent health issues that kept him from working. Not working has caused him to get behind on truck maintenance and repairs. Now he’s trying to play catch up. Business has been slow, on top of all the other issues he is facing, and he would never ask for any help. I spoke with him this morning and felt like he was asking but not asking for help.

I really want to help him get his business back up and running, by either repairing his current truck or helping him to get a new one. I’ve decided to see how many people feel the same way I do.

I have setup a GoFundMe site for him. In the past, many people have done videos and used photos and made tshirts etc, and everytime he gets very little of the money. This time every penny is going straight to his personal checking account. Whatever you can do will certainly bring us one step closer to making his dreams a reality. He never gives up, so lets not give up on him! Let us show him how much we really do love him.