SAN ANTONIO – The owners of Fat Tummy Empanadas have kept bellies full and people smiling for the last three years.
Co-owner Norah Saleh said the restaurant, located on South Murry and West Commerce, gained popularity after being featured on the Food Network.
Since then, they have catered to local leaders like Mayor Ron Nirenberg and big names like former Spurs basketball player Tony Parker.
“It’s good to see smiling faces. They say we’re awesome, we love you,” Saleh said.
Saleh said opening the restaurant was a dream of her and her husband. However, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the once booming business has slowed down.
“We have our good days, but it’s not everyday as it used to be,” she said.
The restaurant has limited the number of people inside, but the dining area remains empty on a daily basis.
Saleh said they have been able to get by with curbside order, but she credits their food truck for keeping business alive.
Saleh said the truck was parked at a storage facility off Culebra Road. However, she said surveillance video show the truck being stolen on Christmas Day.
“I don’t want to lose it, but I think we’re reaching the point that it’s not going to be found anymore,” she said.
She questions show much longer the doors will stay open.
“Like every other owner, small business owner, it’s the fear that you’re going to have to close down,” Saleh said.
Saleh said the food truck was a way to get out into the community, but now she hopes the community will come to them.
“No matter how hard life hits us, we are still going to get back on our feet and we have kids,” she said.
Saleh said the truck was valued at $16,000, but right now they don’t have enough money to purchase a new one.
KSAT has reached out to the San Antonio Police Department for information regarding the case and are waiting to hear back.