Local food truck owner pays it forward to the community

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A local food truck owner who experienced tough times during the pandemic is giving back to the community that supported him.

It all started when a customer bought a cookie to pay it forward. Now, Tikka Spice is paying it forward for the entire month of March.

“We’re partnering up with a local bakery called Crown Baking Company. They’re a new, up-and-coming bakery that started a few weeks ago,” said Basit Gauba, owner of Tikka Spice.

While serving up some Pakistani Indian fusion with a southwestern flair, Gauba said something special happened toward the end of their shift.

“One of our customers came up and they bought a cookie and didn’t take it and said,’Give this to the next customer.’ So, it just went on to about four customers, and we ended up closing because we were done for the night. And me and my wife, we started thinking, ‘Wow this is pretty amazing,’” Gauba said.

Like most restaurants, the food truck business has had many ups and downs during the pandemic.

“We were not sure if we were gonna stay in business or not,” Gauba said.

“We started on an online platform that we didn’t have before COVID, and it was just a new learning curve for us to,” he added.

Thanks to the community, Tikka Spice has been able to stay open.

“We’ve been thinking of ways to give back to the community because we’re so humbled and grateful for all the support we’ve been getting this last year,” he said.

That customer’s random act of kindness gave them a sweet idea. All people have to do is buy a cookie and say they’d like to pay it forward.

“We will also donate a cookie and a meal to those underserved in our community,” Gauba said.

Almost 40 people have purchased cookies to pay it forward in just three days.

“We don’t want any money to provide the meal. We’re going do that ourselves,” Guaba said.

To learn more about Tikka Spice, click here