If someone were to patronize each of the three businesses owned by Sheldon D. Douglas — they could do it without leaving the front seat of their car.
Douglas, a Beloit native, opened his third business renovating trailers and food trucks this year after capitalizing on the success from his own food truck, which serves its famous barbecue ribs.
Now a customers’ experience goes like this, Douglas told Madison365.
On their way to work, a customer stops at S&D Drive-Thru Convenience Store opened in 2018 where a cashier will shop for them — including picking out coffee, candy, energy drinks or whatever they like. Reminder, he said, the store isn’t a store with an exterior drive-thru window — it is a store where the car drives inside through garage doors so customers can see all the products.
“I have had people call from different towns and stuff like that — different states, you know, just to experience something new — to try a drive-through convenience store,” he said.
A cashier will shop for them including ordering from the Hot Mobil Foods food truck out back that opened in March 2019. It serves items such as catfish sandwiches, nachos, chicken wings or the famous rib sandwich.
And if Douglas is not cooking — he is next door transforming RVs and trailers into food trucks. The business known as S&D Custom Trailers has already sold four remodeled food trucks.
“It takes us about two to three weeks tops to renovate the trucks,” he said. “We just basically go in there, cut it all out. And we add our own electric, we add our own plumbing and three-compartment sinks, you know, make sure everything is up to code. We have the health department come out and check us out and we’re ready to roll.”
Douglas works the businesses, as well as takes care of his four kids – ages 2, 3, 15 and 17.
“It’s a lot to juggle. It’s a lot of hard work and dedication, but I feel like I don’t ever want to punch another man’s clock. So therefore I have to do what I have to do. I’ll never go back to that,” he said.
And although it was rough during the pandemic for Douglas — getting no financial assistance including Payment Protection Program or grants — he found a way to adapt.
“You’re taking your chances, you know, you’re hoping and wishing and praying that everything’s going to be okay,” he says. “And I must say that our community has definitely supported S&D Drive Thru and I just want to say thank you to everyone that has supported us so far.”