Husband and Wife Team, Marcus and ZeToya Pinckney, African-American Colletonians Blazing Trails in the Food Truck Industry!


If you live in or have ever visited Walterboro, South Carolina, or some other surrounding areas, there is no doubt that you have seen the food trucks, A Soulful Taste, owned and operated by Marcus and ZeToya Pinckney who are natives of Walterboro! Also, no doubt, you have eaten some of their delectable, mouth-watering food items a number of times. Every Tuesday and Thursday they are set up in the Faith Church parking lot. Some of their signature food items included in their “Soulfood Hotbar on Wheels” are meatloaf in gravy or red sauce, fried pork chops, chicken, whiting, shrimp, and drumettes, red rice, collard greens, green beans, sweet peas, macaroni and cheese, seafood pasta salad, smothered pork chops, okra and tomatoes, candied yams, strawberry topped cheesecake slices, and the list rolls on! Needless to say, my family and I have been eating their food for several years now, and it is absolutely delicious. When my mother, the late Rev. Dr. Evelyn Gelzer Stevens, retired as a Pastor, A Soulful Taste catered the reception. What an awesome “spread” they prepared!

Mr. and Mrs. Pinckney, high school sweethearts having graduated from Walterboro High / Colleton County High Schools, respectively, in 2002 / 2003, were married in 2005. In 2008 they both graduated from the University of South Carolina Upstate. Marcus received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and Toya received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education. After college Toya taught Pre-Kindergarten for a total of 12 years (with a one-year gap to pursue opening a restaurant). Marcus worked with juveniles in different capacities at the Pinelands Group Home and the Department of Juvenile Justice after college.

A Soulful Taste was originated in 2011 by The Pinckneys. They opened and closed a restaurant in 2011-2012. God blessed them with three wonderful children in 2012, 2013, and 2015! In 2017 they began working in the Colleton Commercial Kitchen. Marcus took over his father’s landscaping business and expanded its operations in 2018. Marcus and Toya worked in the food industry, serving at food festivals around the state, while they continued working their fulltime jobs. Then in 2022 they purchased their first food truck. They didn’t stop there because they purchased their second food truck in 2024! Just look at God…! Further, The Pinckneys are blessed to have a very diligent, friendly staff as well. The Pinckneys said about their success, “We do not take the credit for our success; it belongs to God. He has faithfully blessed us with wisdom, knowledge, health, and strength along this journey. He has opened many doors and made ways that we could not see with our own cognition. Our faith is strong in Him; we are just dedicated to doing the work.” Their food trucks were among the winners in the 2024 Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade, sponsored by Walterboro Shrine Club of Arabian Temple #139!

I asked The Pinckneys, “What have you both found is the most challenging issue or situation that you have faced in this industry? Their response: “Our most challenging issue in this industry is staying committed to the hard work and long hours that’s needed to build a brand and stay consistent in it. Learning how to juggle work, family, self-care, and our spiritual lives has been a challenge, but we’re grateful to be teammates in it together, because we fully understand what each other needs through the process.” Another question that I posed to this wonderful husband and wife team, “What advice would you give to anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in the food truck industry?” The

Pinckneys’ response: “Be ready to work hard. Do not depend on anyone to move you forward. Trust in God and be willing to learn through your journey. Your way is not going to be the right way all the time; be open to receive advice and positive criticism. In the food industry, know that customers are purchasing more than just food. They shop, enjoy, return, and share positive critiques about your business because of their overall experience, the customer service, food quality and quantity, food presentation, and your business’ consistency.” Well, let me tell you how I know The Pinckneys! Marcus’ mother and I were high school classmates, having graduated 50 years ago, and I have often visited her church for various services. Further, his mother was my youngest son’s kindergarten teacher. ZeToya was a student in my English 4 Honors class, and I really enjoyed teaching her. She was a very outstanding, conscientious, punctual student. I can even remember the seat where she sat in my room! I will never forget the Valentine’s Day, my birthday, when she walked into my classroom and presented me with such a beautiful, thoughtful gift and card! Toya’s brother and my youngest son served in the United States Army Reserves, both having completed a tour of duty in Iraq. “Small world!”

Marcus and ZeToya Pinckney, thank you for blazing trails for other young adults who may consider pursuing a career in the food truck industry. Colleton County congratulates and salutes you!