Becoming an entrepreneur at age 27 is no small feat.
Opening your first food truck amid shelter-in-place orders for the general public is something exponentially more challenging.
But Megan Brister couldn’t be deterred by a global pandemic.
“I thought about it – but didn’t put too much thought into it – because I’ve been working toward this for so long,” said Brister, who opened the Taco Taco truck on March 21 at 8101 S. Harvard Ave.
She moved to Tulsa four years ago to attend college and stayed.
With her, she brought years of restaurant experience in her Gulf Coast hometown of Rockport, Texas, including management experience. She also maintains a day job as assistant deli manager at an upscale grocery store in south Tulsa called the Fresh Market.
“I’ve always cooked everything since I was little. My first memory is of my grandma cutting onions,” said Brister.
While even fine French cuisine is in her wheelhouse, high-quality Tex-Mex is what she knows by heart and for which she is confident there will always be a dedicated and even passionate market.
“I lived in South Texas since I was 4 — I grew up eating it and cooking it,” Brister said. “I like to say tacos are an essential business.”
In November, Brister’s father offered to help make her entrepreneurial dream come true with some financial backing. She started work on a menu while scoping out the right business opportunity.
In January, she found a food truck for sale with a dedicated clientele and permanent location next to an already popular, new local bar called Shot Happens. Brister closed the deal in February.
Brister knows there is plenty of competition in the taco truck world, even at an economically depressed time like this, so she distinguishes her offerings by making every corn and flour tortilla and a variety of salsas herself, from scratch. Quesadillas and nachos are on the menu, too.
Word about Taco Taco is getting out in nearby neighborhoods and through Brister’s business Facebook page, where she posts weekly specials including $1.25 Taco Tuesdays.
Taco Taco is open evenings, Tuesday through Saturday, with delivery available through the DoorDash app.
With less than 20 minutes before opening on a recent warm evening, Brister scribbled the day’s special — picadillo tacos — on a dry erase board propped up on the service window ledge. Then she hopped back in the truck to tend to chicken thighs sizzling on a grill.
“It’s kind of surreal,” she said of the current state of affairs in the world. “I’m breaking even — but in a global pandemic, breaking even is pretty good.”
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