By Morgan Bryce
Creating a stronger community through food and service is the goal of Jason and Kellie Pope, owners and operators of the Auburn-Opelika area based food truck “Drive-By Tacos.”
Opened June 4, the couple’s business offers patrons a different spin on standard Tex-Mex fare with an infusion of Asian flavors and ingredients.
“This is true, made-to-order street food,” Jason said.
The couple, both native Alabamians and mental health professionals, said the idea for Drive-By stemmed from their time spent living in Boone, North Carolina.
“Food trucks are especially big and popular up in North Carolina, and we visited this one in particular a lot – I probably went three or four times a week,” Jason said. “We befriended the people, and they suggested that I take it over and start doing it.”
After purchasing the truck and rights to the business, the couple moved back to Alabama earlier this year, with Jason quitting the mental health field to focus on the daily operations of the food truck.
Drive-By’s diverse menu and use of quality ingredients have enabled the business to quickly build a strong following according to Kellie.
“Everything is fresh, including the sauces that go into each taco,” Kellie said.
Regular items include Thai Chicken and Crab Cake tacos “on a bed of arugula with Asian slaw and lime sour cream.” Drive-By now offers breakfast tacos and chili, and the couple said new menu items will be introduced on a seasonal basis.
In addition to enhancing the area’s food culture and selection, the Popes said they plan to use Drive By as a platform and medium to give back to those in need both locally and globally.
“In the future, we’d like to do more to address food insecurity in our community and get connected with folks who do that kind of thing. Once we do, we’ll identify where those in need are and try to provide them with hot meals and food,” Kellie said. “We also partner with ‘Wine to Water’ to provide clean water sources to countries in the world where that access is limited. It’s an extension of our career which is ultimately about giving back to people.”
Drive-By’s initial success could be a springboard to a second food truck in the near future, according to Jason. The business is already a member of the Auburn and Opelika chambers of commerce, and a frequent for concerts and events at the Standard Deluxe in Waverly.
For more information or to keep up with Drive-By’s availability and location week-to-week, call 334-203-4178, like and follow their social media pages or visit www.drivebytacos.com.