There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but what about a cholesterol-free one? John Mullane and Laurene Powell, recent Stanford Business School grads, can now be found serving it up behind the wheel of their Earth Cruiser, the 1990s' healthful answer to the greasy-lunch truck. With an investment in the low six figures gathered from their family and friends, Mullane and Powell launched Terravera, in Palo Alto, Calif., a company they describe as "dedicated to the belief that healthful eating provides a better quality of life." The two grads originally envisioned opening a restaurant serving healthful fast food but decided it would be shrewder and more economical to outsource food preparation and serve breakfast and lunch from mobile units pulling up to office parks. Offerings include cappuccino, sugarless and eggless muffins, lentils, and pasta primavera. Terravera's short-term plans are to remain local. "We're starting with something we can grow carefully," says Powell. The company expects to break even within its first six months and to have 16 trucks generating revenues of $2.5 million by 1994.

-- Alessandra Bianchi

* * *