Charleston's only Filipino food truck is about to pull off the road forever.
Refueler's Mobile Café, source of the region's standout sisig, is shuttering later this month. Although owners Jessie and Sarah Stament haven't announced an official last day, Sarah Stament says the truck's two-year run is likely to end on Friday, Sept. 12.
"We decided that realistically we would not be in a position to move to the next step for at least two more years," Stament says. "We weren't willing to sacrifice two more years. This is truly a labor of love, but with two growing boys, we just simply need more."
The Staments planned to operate the truck through the end of the year, but Jessie Stament was recently offered a job, forcing a quicker close.
Jessie Stament worked as a government contractor before making a professional go of his passion for cooking. He was sometimes joined in the truck by his mother, who taught him how to make adobo, pancit and lumpia. In addition to serving traditional dishes, Stament developed modern riffs on Filipino cooking, including a popular "Fili cheesesteak" featuring garlic fried rice and horseradish mayonnaise.
"We do hope to do pop-ups when we feel the itch to cook and see all of the friends made over the last two years," Sarah Stament says.
Food trucks have been a reliable source of global fare that's hard to find in the Charleston area, but their operators are subject to typical small business stresses. Last month, Elizabeth and Dan Estrella shut down their Puerto Rican food truck, Little Star of the Caribbean. According to a post on the truck's Facebook page, "We have decided to close our doors so we can focus on our family. The little ones are only little once and we don't want to miss it."
The Estrellas didn't return messages seeking comment.
Refueler's has not posted a September schedule, but it typically parks at South State, 2430 Mall Dr., on Thursdays. For further updates, visit the truck's Facebook page, where disappointed fans are voicing their bittersweet support for the Staments.
"Congrats on the new opportunities but this does not make me happy," Amanda Johnson wrote in one typical comment.
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