CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) – A popular taco restaurant that started in Conway, Arkansas is bringing its taste across state lines.
The first Tacos 4 Life opened in 2014 and has been growing ever since, serving up delicious food with a purpose.
“We opened a store in Little Rock this year, one in Benton and we're going to open four more this year,” said founder, Austin Samuelson.
Austin Samuelson and his wife Ashton are the founders of Tacos 4 Life. What started as a pizza restaurant eventually turned to tacos. However, the couple has more than just an appetite for food, they have a heart for hungry.
“My wife and I, we were very passionate about world starvation and for us the restaurant was a means to be able to help make a difference,” said Samuelson.
For every meal purchase, Tacos 4 Life donates a meal to a hungry child. Since 2014, the restaurant has raised over 3 million meals.
“Every restaurant we open, that's 1,000 more kids that get fed every day, so for us, from day one, we had hoped that it would be something that would grow and then this multiplying effect starts happening,” said Samuelson.
The multiplying effect is continuing. This year, Tacos 4 Life is opening its first location out of state in Frisco, Texas. Restaurants are also slated to open in Nashville and Charlotte within the next year.
“Literally 14 months ago we had this big company goal, twenty stores by 2020. That was the goal. We since revised that to a little more than double that,” said Samuelson.
Samuelson said their dream never could have become a reality had it not been for the support of the community of Conway.
“To be able to say this wasn't born out of something big or elaborate. It was literally the community of Conway and Arkansas coming together that created this and it’s kind of fun to look back on how its grown and say that's our roots. That's where this came from,” said Samuelson.
Businesses and locals helped raise 70,000 dollars through a crowdfunding site to get the first Tacos 4 Life opened.
In addition to the out of state locations, Tacos 4 Life is opening locations in Jonesboro and Springdale this fall.