Record-setting heat forces business owner to make sudden changes

Shelby Smith gets ready to open her food truck, Shelby's Food for the Soul. She had to...
Shelby Smith gets ready to open her food truck, Shelby's Food for the Soul. She had to temporarily close because of a heat wave.(Michael Cantu KWTX)
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 7:08 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Many may have been happy about a day without record-breaking heat. But, for one Central Texas woman it meant going back to work comfortably.

The owner of a food truck in Killeen says the triple digit weather lately has forced her to temporarily shut down and change some hours.

“It’s extremely hot. Like, unbearably hot,” said Shelby Smith, owner of Shelby’s Food for the Soul.

She was open a few hours Thursday night. But, the less-than-triple digit heat allowed her to open up during the day on Friday, for the first time in a week.

“I’m looking at those heat advisories and I’m just like, ‘I can’t do it,’” said Smith.

The reason: she owns an old fedex truck that was converted into a mobile kitchen a few years ago.

But, when it was built, they did not put an air-conditioning unit in there.

“We didn’t build A/C in there,” said Smith. “Because we kind of weren’t really thinking about it being excruciatingly hot.”

Inside, there are a couple fans hard at work. But she is still surrounded by stoves and friers.

Even on a day like Friday, when it is not as hot, it gets a bit toasty inside the truck.

“Whatever the temperature is out here, inside of my truck it tends to be 10-to-15, even 20-degrees hotter,” she said.

On top of that, the weather is bad for business.

“The heat does kind of keep people away,” said Smith. “It keeps them home in the A/C, which, I can’t blame them.”

Though Friday gave a slight reprieve, more heat is expected in the coming days.

She has a new cooling system on the way, but until then she will just have to tough it out.

“We’re fanning it up, watering it up, Gatorade… We just make it work,” said Smith.

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