Latest Dish: So-Cal Tacos plans for multiple locationsJune 10, 2013
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Special to the Business Press
Following the lead of Lee’s Grilled Cheese food truck, which opened a permanent location on North Tarrant Parkway six months ago, So-Cal Tacos will open its first restaurant in Grapevine next month. Owner Scott Wooley has plans to open 20 locations throughout Texas over the next four years, primarily across North Texas. Wooley says the fan base he’s built for the truck has proven that his concept works.
“The brick and mortar is going to give us the opportunity to reach so many more people,” he said. “We feel like the odds are in our favor.”
Wooley, a Granbury native who spent about a dozen years in California working in sales, says he had never cooked professionally before starting up his truck in 2011.
“I’m just a big time foodie guy,” Wooley said. “And we missed Southern California-style tacos and burritos. We created this brand, concept and menu and I quit my job and went all in in this food truck. I think we were the 15th truck in D-FW. We really had no clue what we were doing.”
Wooley’s Grapevine restaurant will offer a full bar and a simple menu of tacos similar to what was offered from the truck, including So-Cal’s signature San Diego classic fish taco and the honey chipotle grilled salmon taco. The truck is now operating only for private catered events.
“We’ll probably do a couple public events a month to keep it real and stay true to the roots of what the company was founded on,” Wooley said.
Regarding potential competition from Fuzzy’s Taco Shops and the growing presence of Torchy’s Tacos in North Texas, Wooley said, “Both are great groups. However, we intend to fill the gap. We’ll be a laid back, flip flop-style alternative. We’ll focus on only the freshest ingredients with a side of So-Cal chill. Everything tastes better at the beach, and we’re bringing the beach to Grapevine.”
So-Cal Tacos will be located at 2140 Hall Johnson Road in Grapevine. Wooley is anticipating a mid- to late July opening.
Red Jett Sweets is leaving the streets
Fort Worth’s first cupcake truck has called it quits.
Red Jett Sweets, which built a loyal following at Fort Worth Food Park and Clear Fork Food Park selling its popular red velvet cupcakes as well as “pupcakes” for dogs, was one of the first gourmet food trucks to hit the streets when the craze hit town about two years ago. Owners and bakers Christina Jett and Natalia Gamez strongly relied on social media to promote the whereabouts of their brightly painted mobile kitchen, and the duo catered numerous high-profile affairs, including a recent Cliburn Competition event.
“I think that all small businesses are faced with this decision at some point down the road,” said Jett via email. “Our crossroads just came a little sooner than we had expected because of our rapid growth. I knew we could not keep doing what we have been doing, and that I could not physically or mentally do what would be necessary to get us to the next level.”
Gamez has accepted a marketing position with Terra Mediterranean Grill to handle social media for the restaurant group’s multiple Dallas-Fort Worth locations. Jett says she is still an entrepreneur at heart and will take her knowledge and move forward. She says opening a bakery is not out of the question in the future.
“For now, my focus will be on getting the business sold, getting my health back, and allowing myself to explore options and ideas in the works for my future ventures,” Jett said.
Mediterranean for Mansfield
Raz Mediterranean Cafe will take over the 1,300-square-foot former Mr. Wok space at 1701 Country Club Drive in Mansfield. The Persian-influenced menu will include tabbouleh with Persian cucumbers, dark chocolate cake topped with pistachios, almonds and strawberries, and grilled salmon, chicken, beef and lamb kabobs. Hummus varieties include jalapeno, garlic and roasted red pepper. A lunch buffet will be offered as well as catering services.