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"Seasoned with love" | How COVID-19 impacted minority-owned food trucks

Our Impact Team shows you how these two seasoned chefs are taking their food trucks on a field trip to a neighborhood near you – and how you can support them.

Gloria Saylor owns Ada's Kitchen. She takes family recipes passed down through the generations, pours in a heaping cup of love and serves up plates of soul food.

Head Chef Reggie Anderson owns and operates AC Slider Bistro. Chef Reggie takes sliders to a new level with passion and will make you forget what you thought you knew about tater tots.

Lesli Foster and the Impact Team caught up with Chef Reggie when he was flipping and frying burgers to meet the dinner rush about to hit AC Slider Bistro that was truck parked in Vienna, Va.

Foster asked, "Why sliders?"

Anderson said he makes them "...because they’re more innovative. You can customize, you bring things to, everything you can put on a plate with a knife and fork, I could put on a slider.”

RELATED: Lifting up minority-owned Black and brown businesses during a pandemic | IMPACT

He pairs his sliders with garlic and parmesan tots and his signature sweet potato tots which have a cult-like following.

Seeing customers is a welcome site for Chef Reggie and meeting his customers where they are took on new meaning when COVID hit.

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He said, “It impacted us a lot. With food trucks, we did a lot of business lunches, we do a lot of corporate lunches, at places of business, with all that shut down, everybody was home."

A customer said, “These are our neighbors and friends, and I think that’s why we support them and you know, we all want to have good food.”

Credit: AC Slider Bistro

RELATED: Balancing a barbershop, a salon and saving a legacy during a pandemic | IMPACT

Gloria Saylor owns Ada's Kitchen. She said, “A large portion of my business was corporate accounts, lunches. And then you know that all went down. But it was good that I had the truck, because now you have a lot more neighborhoods that are looking for people to provide dinners.”

Credit: WUSA9

Before Chef Gloria rolls out, she preps the recipes passed down from the matriarchs in the family in a much larger kitchen. 200 years of soul food tradition adapted for modern tastes.

Saylor said, "This pot is probably 150 years old, I call this my collard greens pot because every batch of collard greens I make out of this pot they come out perfect.”

Chef Gloria’s mother, Ada, is the inspiration for the business that bears her name. Gloria first learned her way around the kitchen at the foot of her mother, grandmother, and aunts and all of them could cook.

Her food is seasoned with love.

She said, “What I want them to feel is the same sense of family and comfort that we had.”

“This customer selected the roasted pork chop with the pineapple habanero sauce. Okay, now if you ask my mother, she would ask me what is that?!?!”

Foster said, "It's  Ada’s recipe with a twist!”

Credit: Ada's Kitchen

Whether it’s soul food or sliders, these two entrepreneurs have found a way to serve up innovation when so many have been forced to close.

From the front of the house, to the back of a truck, they are bringing the chef’s table to your table.

And so in the spirit of Impact, we teamed up with The Invisible Hand Foundation. They bring together donors who believe in giving anonymously to lift up people and change lives in our community."

John Pierce is with The Invisible Hand Foundation and had a surprise for both food truck owners. He represents a group of people who believe in giving anonymously. 

We introduced both Chef Reggie and Gloria to John Pierce, with The invisible Hand Foundation.

Pierce said, "We lift people up over obstacles in their way of a constructive path and we heard COVID was an obstacle, so we want to help a little."

Pierce presented Chef Reggie with a check for $2000.

Credit: WUSA9
Reggie Anderson, owner AC Sliders and John Pierce, The Invisible Hand Foundation

 "Wow, this is more than I could imagine. Thank you very much. This will help tremendously. I so appreciate it. It will come in handy with all the expenses we have. Thank you very much!"

Pierce presented Chef Saylor with a check for $2000.

Credit: WUSA9
Gloria Saylor, owner of Ada's Kitchen on Wheels and John Pierce, The Invisible Hand Foundation

Gloria replied, "Oh my gosh, I was not expecting this. It’s going to take care of some things I have not been able to take care of.  I truly appreciate it."

The Invisible Hand Foundation hopes copycats will define their own mission and give back to the community anonymously.

AC Slider Bistro and Ada’s Kitchen on Wheels both use the Goodfynd app to help connect hungry families with their meals.

Both AC Sliders and Ada's Kitchen on Wheels cater.

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