MILITARY MATTERS: Veteran and Wife Transition from Army to Taco Truck to New Restaurant
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - After two decades in the U.S. Army, a veteran and his wife transitioned to a taco truck and just opened a new restaurant in Columbus.
“We wanted every day to be taco Tuesday. We literally eat tacos every day,” restaurant co-owner Angie White said.
So they named their restaurant Tuesdays Street Tacos and Burritos. Their grand opening in North Columbus was on - you guessed it - a Tuesday, and just in time for Cinco de Mayo. Co-owner Jeff White never thought he’d be running a business when he retired from being a soldier 3 years ago on Fort Benning.
SFC (Ret) Jeff White said. “Really, life after the Army, what are you going to do? My goal was not to have to work for Uncle Sam.”
The retired Sergeant First Class calls it a frightening transition from military to civilian life, wanting to work for himself after 21 years in the US Army, a career that included being a tank commander.
“So you can’t drive trucks as a regular job...so we bought a taco tank basically,” restaurant co-owner Angie White said.
“Since we’ve been running the (taco) truck for 3 years, we have a super awesome rad following,” SFC (Ret) Jeff White said.
Their sales grew during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to having a business on wheels able to serve to-go meals. His wife Angie has opened 4 other restaurants in the past, but this one on Williams Road - not far from Veterans Parkway in Columbus - is her first time as an owner in this military town.
“Because Fort Benning is a melting pot from everywhere, all over the world, there’s a huge Hispanic culture and there’s a huge Southern California culture, which is where out menu kinda comes from.,” she added.
“The Mexican food - tacos, burritos, rice, beans - came from what my mom made me growing up, I always had a love for it,” SFC (Ret) Jeff White said. “A lot of skills I learned in the Army, leadership and management, have played a big part of the business.”
And he says the restaurant environment can be more stressful than an Army deployment, but he’s loving it. Later this month, they’ll take that fresh cuisine back on the road in their Tuesdays taco truck.
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