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Business Intel: Mama Jean’s takes step toward brick-and-mortar location | Business Local

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The owners of popular food truck Mama Jean’s Barbecue purchased a property on Sanford Avenue in Roanoke, down the road from Towers Shopping Center, where they plan to eventually open a brick-and-mortar location.



Popular food truck Mama Jean’s Barbecue has purchased a Roanoke property where it plans to eventually open a brick-and-mortar location.

Owner Madison Ruckel said the business will make its permanent home at a Sanford Avenue property, down the road from Towers Shopping Center. A roughly 3,000-square-foot building eventually will be converted into a restaurant. The location backs up to Interstate 581, which Ruckel said is good for visibility.

Ruckel plans to work on the project in phases. Initially, he said, the business will operate there out of its Airstream. While it still means using the truck, Ruckel said he won’t have to set up, break down and move it every day, which is tedious and time consuming.

He expects to run the business that way for several months, Ruckel said, before beginning the buildout process, perhaps starting with a small bar and limited seating while prioritizing to-go orders and ultimately adding a larger dining room.

“We’re just going to take it slow and try to do it the right way,” he said.

These changes will allow Ruckel to expand on the Mama Jean’s menu. He said operating out of a food truck is limiting, especially with foods that are time-consuming to prepare, like fried chicken, which he’d like to offer.

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