A Springfield food truck with six years of experience in the community will have a stand-alone restaurant in COhatch The Market.
The Painted Pepper food truck, a family business owned by Amanda and Louie Ortega, offers a Southwestern style menu that will be expanded for the brick and mortar location.
“He (Louie) likes to keep a small menu of things that he knows he can do well and has enough variety for people, but it’s not overwhelming,” Amanda Ortega said.
The menu is inspired by Louie Ortega’s El Paso, Texas roots and the couple’s experience in Arizona.
She said they moved to the area to live cheaper, but always planned to go back to Arizona until they had children.
He operates the food truck, while she manages the food truck behind the scenes.
The couple started the food truck when Louie Ortega decided he wanted to have his own restaurant, after working as an executive chef at several hotels, Amanda Ortega explained. Opening a restaurant was a huge risk, so the food truck became their first step.
“Our business and our following has definitely grown each year,” she said. “I would say this summer was one of our best and it is exciting to see people that know you, want you around and appreciate your food.”
The couple has operated the food truck full and part-time, but have realized that it is not enough to provide as a single income.
“I wouldn’t say it is highly sustainable as one income for a big family, so that’s why we are looking into the next step with COhatch,” she said. “That opportunity came up and it seemed like a good fit in-between starting our own full restaurant and keeping with the food truck.”
COhatch, a Columbus-based company offering a variety of co-working options, private offices, event space, and restaurants, is going into the historic Myers Market building at 101 S. Fountain Ave. COhatch The Market is expected to open in mid-March.
The Painted Pepper will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner at their new location.
Breakfast will start at 8 a.m. with two different types of breakfast burritos, available to grab-and-go. Dinner will be 4 to 8 p.m. with nightly themes. They are also planing a taco and tequila night, Amanda Ortega said.
Their most popular items are the Texas Chicken Quesadilla and Fish Tacos.
The couple is looking forward to adding to the community and having another place where people can hangout.
“We are most excited about being a part of what is happening downtown, being in the middle of it all, and meeting new people and new customers,” she said. “We’re really big on relationships with other businesses and people downtown and we just really thrive on that.”
The Painter Pepper will be one of five food tenants in COhatch The Market. Other tenants include Crust & Company, Fresh Abilities, Ironworks Waffle Cafe and North High Brewery.
For more information, search for The Painted Pepper on Facebook.