In 2010, Heather Price decided to return to school. Her intention…to become a licensed therapist. Upon completion of her degree in 2011, she opened the Jane Day Spa on Oak Street in Carmi. That business is still open and going strong. The adjacent property at the intersection of Oak and 9th however, was a mess. She hoped to purchase the land, but Heather described it as a legal battle in trying to determine who owned the property.
At the time, Price had some interest in opening a Taco restaurant and utilizing that location. As fate would have it, that plan didn’t work out. Fast forward several months and Heather made contact with Walter Blake, owner and creator of Taco Tierra. Taco Tierra is a regional favorite serving up Mexican American cuisine in Mt. Carmel, Fairfield and two other locations. Blake and Price worked out a “Mentorship” which included recipes, business plan and training.
Two years later with no progress on the Oak Street location, Mayor Jeff Pollard contacted Heather about a potential property on Industrial. After taking a look and discussing the idea, Heather and her husband and business partner Kevin decided to jump in with both feet. As it happened, two days later, the legal battle over the Oak Street property was settled and the Prices ended up purchasing it as well for another potential venture in the future, though Price remains coy about that at this point. She says looking back, the Oak Street property wouldn’t have been the best location due to the bottleneck that she fears would’ve been potentially created with a high traffic restaurant on that corner.
In November of 2015, ground was broken for the Taco Factory. Jeff French Construction has been in charge of building plans. The restaurant is 1,800 square feet and Price describes the ambience as industrial with a Mexican flair. The Taco Factory will feature seating for 50 indoors and an additional 16-20 outside. A face to face drive thru will be in place for ordering and pickup. Price calls it a unique process that offers many advantages for customer service. Three days a week, there will be exclusive daily specials…Shrimp Taco Tuesdays, Wednesday Quesadillas, and Friday Fish Tacos. Operating hours for the Taco Factory will be 10am – 10pm Mondays – Thursday and 10am – 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Heather says she and her husband are in the thick of hiring right now having received somewhere in the neighborhood of about 80 applications so far. She’s been impressed with the level of applicants as well saying they have a great pool to choose from. They’d like to ideally employee somewhere between 35 – 40 people and be a well rounded staff of all ages from 15 – 70 for a variety of shifts. The goal or mission statement, Price says is to provide good food, a clean restaurant, and a second to none excellent customer service experience.
The Taco Factory should be open to the public this July.