GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Mama y Papa’s Taqueria food truck was stolen two years ago out of Kinston. Now, they are on the road to recovery and trying to reestablish themselves in Eastern Carolina.

“I went over to the diner over in Kinston where our commissary and food truck was parked, rolled in and it wasn’t there,” said JePaul Woolard about the time when he learned the food truck had been stolen.

He and his girlfriend, Natasha, own and operate the business. It was a big emotional blow to both of them.

“It was very disheartening, and it almost was surreal, and I couldn’t believe that it wasn’t there, you know I’d been there for three years and when I got there, we didn’t know what to do,” Woolard said.

Woolard said they temporarily relocated to Durham and joined the “Tasti Tacos” franchise, where he later became recognized by the Eater Carolinas blog for having some of the best recipes in the state.

“By way of that, we got our own food truck and was able to bring it back this way, bring it back to Eastern North Carolina,” said Woolard.

Woolard said he was driven by his goals to keep going despite the hardships.

“My personal ambition to cook and be around good-natured people, those who like to eat, I like to eat … so we’re going to feed you,” Woolard said.

Taco eaters Angela and Kimber-Ann Cook had nothing but rave reviews about the new and improved truck.

“This is my third visit, and the food is awesome, I love it, and the service is even better,” said Angela.

“I’ve been here before with my coworkers at ECU Health, and I introduced my mom and my aunt to this place not too long ago, the customer service has always been phenomenal, [Woolard] never shows any kind of defeat or anything like that or trial and tribulation that he’s gone through, so I think that really shows to the spirit of himself too,” added Kimber-Ann.