‘Mango Man’ suffers after car crash, community raises funds as the fruit of his labor

MADISON, Wis. — After a local business owner suffered from a vehicle crash a couple of weeks ago, the community has rallied behind him to get him back on his feet.

Thony Clarke is known around the area as ‘the Mango Man. ‘

“I’m a mango lover,” said Clarke. “It’s a nice fruit. I love cooking with it.”

Outside of his traveling food cart, Clarke also sells sauces online. However, he says his business services more than just fruity food.

“I’m in the business of not only selling food, but selling smiles,” said Clarke.

Recently, it hasn’t been all smiles for the Mango Man.

On July 8, while on errands stocking up product, Clarke was involved in a serious car accident.

“That was pretty intense,” said Clarke.  “I don’t remember much other than the hit.”

His friend Tony Roman said he felt awful that his friend was going through something so difficult.

“It was pretty heartbreaking, especially considering the past two years with the pandemic and knowing what everyone in the food service industry has been dealing with and going through,” said Roman.

While Clarke was safe after the accident, his car and many other items related to his business were destroyed in the crash. Roman decided to start a GoFundMe to help his friend.

“Having been through a car accident a couple years ago, it can drag on for months, sometimes years, said Roman.  “I knew he needed help and I knew he’d be too humble to ask for it himself.”

The response from the community on the GoFundMe shows that the Mango Man provides more than just something good to eat.

“When people come to him, as much as they love the food, there are people coming not even ordering. Just to say hello to him,” said Roman. “His brand is him.”

“It’s amazing the amount of love and care,” said Clarke. “It’s just amazing it’s so amazing.”

The Mango Man says he’s shocked by how much of the community has come out to support him. He’s excited to soon be able to fully get back to doing what he loves.

“Good food makes people happy,” said Clarke. “That’s my job and I wanna keep doing it as much as possible.”