CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Three men in Charlotte recently built a business from nothing. And just about all of it lived within 20 feet of trailer.
The group started their business, 225 Street Food, over the summer - most of it, mobile.
Now, just a few months in, it was essentially back to square one for Robert Knight, Anthony Denning, and Maurice Jackson, as they reported that trailer stolen.
“It sucks to finally get your foot in the door, and then get pushed back,” Denning says.
But less than 24 hours after the story aired, the stolen food truck was recovered.
On the WBTV Facebook page, the post about the missing food truck garnered noticeable attention as viewers expressed concern and sympathy for the three men involved.
The post had more than 800 reactions, 70 comments and more than 300 shares.
On the business’s Instagram Friday, they posted a picture of the truck with a caption reading, “We found big red!!!!!!!!!!!”
An hour later another Instagram picture with the caption reading “GOD IS SO GOOD!!!” was posted.
“Everything we’ve had monetarily, went into that truck,” Denning says.
On Thursday, along Woodlawn, where that truck once stood in a parking lot with several locks on it, remained only evidence – cinder blocks, trailer ties. Police documented items including the men’s $5,000 trailer, their $25,000 worth of equipment – all, stolen.
“We kind of knew the area was shaky,” Denning says. “But we didn’t think anyone would steal a whole trailer. I mean, our food trailer is literally 20 feet long. And it’s bright red.”
They say they were just making it through the growing pains of the first few months, booking more gigs, getting more jobs.
“CIAA tournament, right before All-Star weekend, we had events booked for all of that,” Denning says. “We’re literally stuck, because someone else wanted to take something from us."
The three men were working out of a spot in the Seventh Street Market, hoping to make ends meet, and hoping their trailer turned up, somehow.
Now that their food truck has been recovered and the three men should be able to get back to their regular work out of their faithful truck.
There are still some question marks with what exactly the trailer’s journey was for the last few days.
“The police officers were like they found it this morning, it was up under a tarp on the side of this house,” Denning said Friday.
The group says it was a neighbor of that house in West Charlotte who called officers, after he recognized the images on TV.
“He just said he saw it on the news, so he called the police,” Denning said.
He adds that the owner of the home claims not to know anything about how it got there. What these young men were surprised by, was that it was all in one piece.
“They took it for fun evidently, because the generator was still intact, all the propane tanks…they didn’t even go inside of the trailer at all,” Denning said.
None of their locks were broken, including the one on the hitch.
“So, they either had a fifth wheel that they put on the tongue of the trailer, or they had some type of device, because they never took the trailer lock off,” he said.
The business is celebrating the discovery with a 10 percent discount for those who helped spread the word about the missing food truck.