Over the next three and half years the food trailer became a local favorite among the folks of Benton. Not too long after, I opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant, right across the road from my original trailer. A simple, 60 seat restaurant, where our loyal food truck customers had a cozy place to join our new guests. Just a year later, we expanded to Conway. In 2016 we decided to start selling catfish in the big city of Little Rock, followed by NLR in the spring of 2018, all the while catering to all of Arkansas in the original trailer I used on my very first day. There’s no way I would be where I am today without my friends and family. My mom has cooked countless nights, my dad has built every store, and they’ve always encouraged me to chase my dreams. I grew up on a multi-generational farm in East End. We had cattle and big gardens. MawMaw made plate dinners every night, and every Friday we had a catfish fry. Everybody thinks their grandma was the best cook, but I’m here to tell you, my MawMaw holds that title, as the stores still use her recipes every day.
I’m thankful to my family for instilling in me the importance of hard work, good food, and respecting everyone – treating them like family. Now with two girls of my own, our traditions have reached another generation. From the booths you sit in, to the fishing pictures on the walls, and MawMaw’s recipes, my family is ingrained throughout. These family values are who we are as a company. They’re the foundation of our culture, as we strive to develop the next leaders of our communities.
What began with a single case of fish and a sack of crawfish has
Travis Hester, Founder