(ABC4 NEWS – SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH) Joy Gingrich is the Owner/Operator of two TacoTime restaurants in Utah.
We all have to start somewhere. Joy told me about growing up; “Fourteen years old. Just trying to get by and be like the rest of the kids. I decided that to do that and to get a new pair of shoes I’d find a job.”
She laughed at the nostalgia and continued her story; “We would drive past the TacoTime and I smelled it. I’d never eaten in a restaurant before and thought that smelled so good. I wanted to go in there and so we did, and I applied for a job and I hounded the manager owner there at the time and finally he gave in a gave me a job.”
So, of course, we all want to know…what kind of shoes did she buy? As a kid growing up as a teenager in the 1970’s, she exclaimed; “Oh, platform!” True confession, I had platform shoes back then too.
Joy’s first job at TacoTime went well. She told me; “I worked as the regular counter person then I became a supervisor at about the age of 16 and I learned how to open, do all the food prep. And thought gosh I love this, there is so much to do.”
Joy is a great example of a Utah Success Story. How did it happen? She got emotional as she said; “Somebody believed in me and saw that I had potential and I’ll always be grateful.”
Stacy Bodenave started working at TacoTime on 8th South and State Street in Salt Lake City when she was 14. Now she’s the manager.
I channeled by 14-year-old self and asked Stacy to teach me to do the same thing a new employee would do. She said; “We have them start with rolling burritos.”
I’m game. She had me put on gloves and shows me what to do. “This is the meat burritos, and this is the tortilla. This is paste. You’re just going to dip your hand in wipe it across. And grab a portion of the meat and spread it across the tortilla. And then we are going to pull it down as tight as we can get it and roll it up. And there you go.”
Stacy was patient with me and gave me some tips along the way. My videographer, Ed Wilets, teased me and asked me how long it took me to finish the stack of burritos. Let’s just say it was a lot longer than Stacy.
It was interesting to learn that every TacoTime goes through this same exercise each morning and then cooks each burrito to order.
Stacy took me to the fryers, had me push some magic buttons and presto…I had a freshly cooked meat burrito.
After my training lesson, I asked Joy about her habit of hiring 14-year-olds. She explained; “They have drive and they’re teachable.”
So, what would fourteen-year-old Joy think about her journey now? Joy reflected and said; “I think that I made a difference. I have employees that come back and thank me for teaching them life skills and so I’d say, I did some good.”
With another Utah Success Story, and a crisp meat burrito that I made myself, I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.
To see other Utah Success Stories or if you want to nominate a business for Doug to profile go to ABC4.com/UtahSuccessStories.
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