Che and Tadd Ruddell-Tabisola – The BBQ Bus


Food and politics

Not that long ago food trucks were more identified with the tourists at the Mall, because they were there and they weren’t familiar with local eateries that were convenient to get to. Now the trucks serve up gourmet food and have huge fawning  fans in foodie critics, newcomers and longtime residents of Washington and are followed like rock stars on Twitter, whence their daily locations and menus are tweeted and retweeted.

Partners in life and partners in business, Che and Tadd Ruddell-Tabisola started The BBQ Bus in 2011. They are passionate about their food, their business and the community they live in.

Che first met Tommy Wells in 2012 when they were both judges at a live band Karaoke contest at a Food Truck and Beer Festival.

 What’s the most important ingredient in your BBQ recipe?

BBQ is all about meat.

What’s the most important ingredient in your business life?

Separation of powers: We both have things we’re responsible for and that we’re better at than the other, and we rely on the other to do their part.

what kind of music do you listen to in the truck?

Lots of ‘80s with some others mixed in: Electric Slide, Just a Gigolo (David Lee Roth version), some Pointer Sisters. When Che closes the truck he always plays Body of an American by the Pogues for the last song.

who’s the better driver?


Let’s talk Tommy: What is it that you like about Tommy Wells?

Councilmember Wells doesn’t come across as a quote-unquote politician. His decision to decline corporate donations is just one example of that. He is an individual putting forward a vision for our city and asking us to believe in that vision.

How do you think Tommy Wells will make DC an even better city to live and work in?

His mantra — building a livable walkable DC — runs much deeper than those five words would appear to express; Councilmember Well’s vision is for a community where you feel safe, where there is opportunity, that you want to invest in, and raise a family.

How has Tommy Wells had an impact on you and your business?

When new food truck regulations were proposed, Councilmember Wells went out of his way to ensure that food trucks would continue to operate while DC Council made needed revisions to the rules. And he worked with his fellow councilmembers to reduce a proposed $2,000 fine for a food truck parked at an expired meter to $50, which is the same as what other street vendors pay.

Back to food: Any particular incident in your food truck business experiences you’d like to share?

One of the things about running a food truck is that you have to bring everything you need with you for service; there’s no running to the stock room if you forget forks or napkins. Our first year in business we forgot plenty of things — pickles, the cash drawer, utensils, etc. One morning we actually forgot the staff. It wasn’t until Che was parking at Farragut Square and they called to ask if anyone was going to come back for them that we realized they were still at the kitchen.


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