SOCA bringing a different flavor to Dayton food hall

After starting a food truck two years ago, Shafton Greene, the owner of SOCA, is opening a brick-and-mortar location in W. Social Tap & Table this summer.

Greene was born on the island of Trinidad and Tobago. He grew up in Washington, D.C. and came to Dayton for college. He told he originally opened the food truck with his brother because he couldn’t find Trinidad-inspired food in the area.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

“We just wanted to make sure everybody tasted the culture,” Greene said. “Some of the things we make you can’t get it for 10 hours, if you drive either way, and that’s what makes us unique. We bring a different flavor to Dayton.”

And what better place to open a restaurant than in the historic Wright-Dunbar District where Greene lives.

“It’s exciting to be in your own neighborhood and be part of your neighborhood,” he said.

SOCA features an array of Trinidad-inspired dishes including Roti, Doubles and Oxtail. Greene described Roti as a flatbread stuffed with chickpeas, curry chicken, potatoes, spices and sauces. Doubles is the Trinidad version of a taco.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

“What makes my food special I think is the freshness of it and the different quality of the taste,” Greene said.

He explained that he makes his own seasonings from scratch using aquaponics.

“I’m passionate about food,” Greene said. “I do it and I win. I win when I see people smile when they eat my food.”

The SOCA food truck did not open this season because Greene wanted to focus on his brick-and-mortar location in Dayton’s first food hall. However, he plans to use the food truck for special events in the future.

“I’m looking forward getting to know a lot of people and seeing a lot of familiar faces,” Greene said.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

W. Social Tap & Table, located at 1100 W. Third St., is a joint venture between Wright Dunbar Inc. and Dillin Corp. The $2.1 million project will transform a former conference center into a food hall with a bar and five other independent businesses including De’Lish, Grind House Coffee & Tea Co., The Lumpia Queen, ILLYS Fire Pizza and Taco Street Co.

For more information on W. Social Tap & Table, visit the food hall’s Facebook page.

**Please note this is one of seven stories featuring tenants in W. Social Tap & Table**

About the Author