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Local business celebrates Black History Month

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Mr. Murphy's Stuffed Potatoes is a Black-owned business in Columbia that serves a variety of different spuds, nachos, and salads out of a food truck.

Columbia native Jheron Nunnelly is the owner of the food truck and has been in business since 2019.

Nunnelly says he got his inspiration for the concept for the menu after he and his wife had a date night creating a fake menu for a restaurant and making the items. He says they have altered the menu since then but the original recipes are still from that date night.

Nunnelly has been cooking since he was 15-years-old and says he took a risk starting up a food truck.

"I've just been cooking for a long time and I got the opportunity to open a food truck, the food bank kinda helped me with the start-up fees and everything. I thought about it overnight and took the risk and we did it and it just kinda took off in the first year," said Nunnelly.

Nunnelly says there are many things that come with the business that people don't think about.

"Keeping the kitchen up and running because we move around and things move and break and we go through a lot of repairs I would say once a month something breaks and we have to repair it, so keeping it up and running and staying focused and not letting these things keep us down," said Nunnelly.

Nunnelly is a father of four and says his family motivates him to run his business and Como Smoke and Fire has been a big help since day one of starting his business.

Black History Month is important to Nunnelly being a young Black business owner.

"Without your history, you can't pave a new future, so I mean I just keep thriving, I hope I can aspire someone that looks like me to do something outside the box," said Nunnelly.

Nunnelly encourages other black Americans to open a business and to keep black businesses going.

"Everyone tells you, black people can't do this, black people can't do that, but I mean we live in a different era we're to do whatever we want, you know what I mean, as long as you want it and thrive forte you can go get it," Nunnelly said.

While growing up, Nunnelly's parents were cooks and had two to three jobs and he gets his work ethic from them.

Mr. Murphy's Stuffed Potatoes has won the Missourian Entrepreneurship Award and has been voted top 12 bucket list places to try.

For the future, Nunnelly hopes to open a drive-thru location within the next two years, while keeping the food truck traveling across Mid-Missouri.

Mr. Murphy's Stuffed Potatoes will be up and running in mid-March but until then they are taking catering orders.

For more information, you can find Mr. Murphy's Stuffed Potatoes on Facebook or e-mail them at Foodpartycomo@gmail.com.

If you would like to start a minority-owned business here in Columbia there is a minority-owned business grant out there. Applicants must be starting a business or relocating to downtown Columbia within six months of October of 2021. The community improvement district is offering up to $5,000 grants.

Erika McGuire

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