JACKSON CENTER – After four summers of operating Pcassios in Jackson Center, the Meyer family has closed its food truck for the final time.
Nancy and Tony Meyer and their daughters Pauline and Cassie owned and operated Pcassios, which earned most of its business by serving factory workers in Jackson Center. The venture started as a summer job opportunity for Pauline and Cassie but now has shut down as they move on to the next chapters in their lives.
“One of my favorite things was doing it with my girls, but now that they’re graduating and going on to their adult jobs I don’t think I want to hire high school kids to run it,” Nancy said as Pcassios closed for the final time Aug. 2. “Yeah, it’s going to be sad saying goodbye, but it’s just the time.”
Pcassios – whose name is derived from a combination of Pauline and Cassie – opened in 2016. The food truck served lunch at Airstream, EMI, Lacal Equipment and Plastipak Packaging and also had public lunches and dinners in Carnival Square during an 11 week stretch each summer.
“It’s been nice,” Cassie said. “I liked it. Of course with family there’s a lot of stress and fighting sometimes, especially when I used to work with my sister, but it’s definitely rewarding, and I enjoyed it.”
The Meyer family didn’t have any restaurant experience when it decided to open Pcassios. But with lots of factory workers coming into Jackson Center each day and few lunch offerings available, the Meyers decided there was a business opportunity.
“We just heard people talk, ‘We wish we had other options in Jackson Center,’” Nancy said. “Some of our friends work at the factories in town and they said there’s not a whole lot of places to get lunch quickly. So we just came up with the idea and said let’s do this.”
Tony, who is the treasurer for Jackson Center Local Schools, did a lot of the background work and set up contracts for the new business. He also found a place in Alabama that made the Pcassios truck.
A family friend, Jason Platfoot, used his experience working in restaurants and catering to help the Meyers get started with their food truck.
“Jason sat down with us and helped us create our recipes and helped us get on the right track. With Jason’s help and then just our family, friends, grandparents – they all kind of pitched in to help us get on track. Lucky us,” said Nancy, who also said they received a lot of help from the Village of Jackson Center and the Shelby County Health Department.
One of the business’ most popular dishes was the Pcassio rolls, a dish inspired by the three years Nancy lived in Japan.
“It’s kind of different from anything they can get around here,” she said. “It’s like an egg roll with the sticky white rice. People really like that because it’s so different.”
Burgers, barbecue pork sandwiches, heroes and monster cookies also were popular choices for the approximately 300 customers each week.
“You can’t get a burger in Jackson,” Nancy said. “That’s why they sell well because there’s not a McDonald’s here or a Wendy’s.”
Nancy said her favorite part of running Pcassios was getting to work with her daughters, and she also enjoyed interacting with the customers.
“The people were so friendly and very welcoming to us,” she said. “Amazing people, happy to see us, that makes it worth it.”
The first summer Pauline, a 2016 Jackson Center graduate, and Nancy were Pcassios’ primary workers. The next two summers Cassie, a 2017 Jackson Center graduate, joined her sister in running the food truck.
“It’s enough for the girls to earn money for college,” Nancy, a teacher at Jackson Center Local Schools, said. “That’s why they’re doing it, earning money for college. It’s provided a great summer job for them.”
Pauline graduated from The Ohio State University in May and got a full-time job working in human resources for Northstar Cafe in Columbus. So this summer she did some social media work for Pcassios while Cassie and Nancy worked in the truck.
“I really think that this experience helped her get that job because she does Excel sheets, the kids do inventory, they do food prep, safety of the food, hauling the trailer, hooking it up, starting the generator – you know the girls do it all so I’m pretty proud of them,” Nancy said.
It took approximately two hours of preparation each day to get Pcassios ready for a lunch or dinner. Then after serving food for three or four hours, the Meyers took about 90 minutes to clean up each day.
“It’s a full-time job, but it’s very rewarding, and I think the girls would do it again if they had the opportunity,” Nancy said. “But we have to move on.”
Cassie is entering her final semester at Wheeling University in Wheeling, West Virginia, where she studies chemistry and plays volleyball. She also is applying to medical schools and won’t have time to continue working at Pcassios.
“I’m sad, but at the same time I am so excited to move on with my life,” Cassie said. “It’s a stressful job.”
While it’s been difficult running a business, Cassie said, Pcassios provided a lot of valuable experience and skills that she’s highlighting on her med school applications.
“I think that overall I’m going to have these skills that most people my age would learn after a job that they’ve been at 10 years,” she said. “The responsibility that I’ve had to have in the last four years, starting when I was 17, has been a lot more than anybody my age usually has.”
Now that they’re done running Pcassios, the Meyers are trying to sell their food truck along its equipment and recipes. Nancy said she also would offer to sit down with the new owners and provide guidance to help them get started.
“I’d love to pass it on to somebody else that would love to do it with their kids, keep it in Jackson Center would be great and I really think if someone wanted to take and do stuff on weekends with it they could do well,” she said.
Anyone who is interested in purchasing the business may call Nancy at 937-441-1736 or Tony at 937-441-1739. More information also is available at www.facebook.com/pcassios.
Reach this writer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-538-4824.