Dawn Hall has gone a lot of places serving food but is finally staying put for a while.
For years, Hall operated Happy Belly Food Truck and recently opened a restaurant of the same name in Forsyth County’s Vickery Village. She said the timing of the opening wasn’t ideal at first, but allowed her to open the restaurant and get employees trained during the food truck’s offseason.
“You can plan for something, but I also plan for the unexpected,” Hall said.
Hall began the business with her husband, Terry Hall, in 2012. He passed away in 2014 after a six-month battle with lung cancer, meaning she had to run the business herself.
She said she came to a crossroads in 2015 to either sell or reinvent the company, part of which meant changing what events the truck would go to.
Part of that decision, Hall said, was the growing number of competitors and losing the interest of customers.
“I also saw a decline in a lot of the food truck events,” Hall said. “When it first started, I felt it was a trend that would stay around for five years or so, and it came to be correct.”
Hall said she lives in Forsyth but the restaurant — which features healthy food in grab-and-go, carry out and dine-in options — nearly went outside the county before finding the location in Vickery Village.
“I live nine minutes down the street. [It is] 10-15 minutes from my children’s school,” she said. “This is a network of friends. Family lives close by, so we had that as well, which is definitely an added bonus when you open up a business. It was a no-brainer.”