DALLAS — Like many of her peers, Paulette Woods was raised in the projects, was brought up in a single-parent home.
Still, regardless of how insurmountable, tumultuous or chaotic things had become — and they surely did — Woods was taught to never disregard the notion of what it means to see from beyond where she was, to steadfastly devise ways to maximize her potential.
“Being raised in the projects was a very hard difficult time for us,” Woods told longtime journalist Andre Johnson. “So I started cooking, because my mom always had to work to support us.”
To her credit, not only was Woods a fixture in her household in that she made sure she and the rest of her siblings had home-cooked meals when their mother was away to work, but her tireless contributions in the home ultimately served as the fuel that drove her to her destiny.
Today, more than ever before, the Dallas Thomas Jefferson High graduated has fully connected with her divine purpose, her supreme calling, of sorts, considering her gift is routinely embraced and savored by countless individuals around the country.
Along with her husband, Jalon Woods, the Woods are owners and chief executive officers of Trucker’s Café in Dallas. Located at 8445 South Lancaster Road, roughly a fourth of a mile west of the Lancaster, Texas city limits, Trucker’s Café has undoubtedly become a fixture, particularly amongst the thousands of truck drivers who travel to and throughout the Dallas Fort-Worth area daily.
Now that this longstanding establishment — which is open six days a week from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. with the exception of Monday — has made its presence felt, thus ignited hunger amongst various social media account holders, Trucker’s Café is now starting to emerge as a popular venue for tourists to Dallas, let alone for residents through the massive Metroplex.
Housed inside of the Citgo convenient store that is adjacent to the historic Whataburger restaurant, once customers enter this ever-so-popular setting, they can’t help but notice the assortment of piping hot soul food entrees and the array of delectable fixings that come with them.
By and large, Trucker’s Café has emerged as a fixture, in large part because of its featured menu item, the famous “Mothertrucking Burger,” a massive, bicycle-tire-size cheeseburger that will make a customary size burger seem like those sold at the White Castle franchises.
Aside from its featured item, consumers can partake in the restaurant’s variety of eye-catching, mouth-watering salads and desserts. And, for those who are preparing for the upcoming Super Bowl or, perhaps planning weddings, family reunions, baby showers, board meetings, etc., the Woods and their team of well-established cooks also offer meat, vegetable and fruit party trays as well as a catering service.
A business that was established in 1995, Trucker’s Café’s foundation was erected when the Woods began exclusively serving truck drivers. This place has since become arguably of one of Texas’ finest truck stops, in large part because it has evolved as a dazzling eating destination for residents of the DFW.
All because Paulette Woods had a vision, one that was essentially birthed when she was only 14 years old, one that essentially came to fruition during those times her mother was away to work.
“We were at a women’s battle shelter and that’s how I started cooking,” Paulette Woods explained. “I was cooking for the mothers who had to work. I was babysitting and cooking dinner for everybody at the shelter at the time. I was only 14 and cooking like that…in and out of shelters…in and out of school. Thank God I made it.”
With the tireless support from her husband, family, and staff, the Woods are collectively walking in their divine purpose, a trend that is starting to become noticeably evident — all throughout Texas, where virtually everything is done big here.
“I been all over the United States and have never tasted food like we have at Trucker’s Café,” Jalon Woods, an Arlington Sam Houston High graduate, said. “We really appreciate that we are giving the opportunity to feed people in our community and, the people who are not in our community, we thank everyone for joining us in making Trucker’s Cafe possible (in Dallas). And we also thank God for blessing us with the opportunity to stay in business.”
Given its continuous success, Trucker’s Café is only expanding. So much, in fact, that that a new facility is currently in the works and is expected to open for operations in the coming months.
All because at the tender age of 14, a girl from the projects devised ways to maximize her potential.
The rest, as they say, is history.
DALLAS’ TRUCKER CAFE STAFF
Lawrence Davis (Head Chef)
Carla Johnson (Manager)
Arnold Robinson (Head Dishwasher)
Courvoisier Campbell (Pastry Chef)
Ashley Wafford (Head Cashier)
For more information about Trucker’s Café, for catering needs, to place party tray orders for the Super Bowl or for other events, call 972-224-0008.
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Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.