When Greg Tillery started We Dat’s Chicken & Shrimp, a popular New Orleans-based food truck, he didn’t expect that a lot people would line up waiting for their orders. But within just three years, this Black entrepreneur has grown his food truck business to two locations, developed a new product line, and established a partnership with the NBA!
Before becoming a successful business owner, Tillery was working a corporate job and at that time, a company-wide layoff occurred. Although he himself wasn’t laid off, he realized it could be a possibility someday and he didn’t want to wait for that to happen.
After watching a reality show called Food Truck Wars on Food Network, he was inspired to open his own food truck. So, he decided to purchase a food truck using all the money he had left and started the business. Just like many other businesses, it wasn’t immediately successful — he had to work in a food truck without air-conditioning and sometimes no one lines up.
Eventually, his signature recipe of chicken wings, loaded fries, fried shrimp, catfish, and other dishes stood out among the rest. He gained more attention online when social media sensation Supa Cent did a shout out and his food truck got featured in Tokyo Vanity’s “Best Friend” video. He also credits his success to the great customer service as well as philanthropic efforts that We Dat’s does throughout New Orleans.
Aside from the usual build-up of people ordering through his food truck outside nightclubs or by a car wash, the business’ expansion to two other locations can really attest to its success. His first location opened in the downtown area in 2016 and a second location in Gentilly followed in 2017. Its third location in West Bank is also already on the works. He also plans on bringing his food trucks to other states in the near future.
Most recently, he started selling his own seasoning line through select stores and online through their website. A partnership with the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans is also expected to bring his dishes closer to sports fans in New Orleans.