Birth of the Taco Guy

A story of tacos, humor, and community

A good taco is as unique as its community, reflecting the culture of the people who enjoy it. For The Papillion Taco Guy, this includes smoked meats, a hefty dose of humor, and a location in the heart of downtown Papillion.

“It’s a huge blessing to have people who support you, and it really gives you that bit of confidence to keep moving,” said Scott Nedved, owner of The Papillion Taco Guy.

The Taco Guy goes back to 2017 when Scott and a business partner purchased a food trailer. After refurbishing it as Braai Time, the pair worked four to five events in 2018 to get their feet wet, reinvesting all their earnings into the business. A break came when a construction job site requested the food truck five days a week.

“It was always a dream to have my own business,” Scott said. This opportunity began on January 2, 2020. “Things went really well for about 75 days, and then the world shut down.”

Due to the pandemic policies of the time, people could not congregate. The two returned to other employment to provide for their families.

Wanting to keep the dream, they purchased a cart. The pair decided to use their most popular item: the taco. Then, a simple name. Chuckling, Scott said, “We’ll just call ourselves The Taco Guy—because that’s what they’re going to call us anyway.”

The Taco Guy first parked on the corner of First and Washington streets and posted on Facebook in October 2020, bringing his sense of humor with him. “Every time I write a new sign, I’ll post it on there, doing what my wife calls ‘trying to be funny.’”

But it took off, he said while crediting Facebook Groups such as Let’s Talk Papillion and Let’s Really Talk Papillion.

“After a year, no one knew about our food truck—everyone wanted the Taco Guy,” said Scott. The Taco Guy grew into a trailer, eventually leading to a cart inside Werner Park. The growth didn’t stop as the Taco Guy moved into its current location at 110 N. Washington Street, opening in August 2023.

His friends, family, neighbors, and fellow members of Papillion’s Lifegate Church campus helped renovate the bay, and such support has also helped the business stay out of debt.

“This is unheard of in the restaurant market,” he said. “All in all, we were able to get in here debt-free. We started the year debt-free, and we’re ending it debt-free.”

In return for the support, Scott hopes to be a unique staple of the city, which people know they can only find in Papillion.

“We smoke meat, but we’re not barbecue. We make tacos, but we’re not an authentic taco place. We have hot sauce with a South African pepper, but we’re not an African grill,” Scott said jokingly. “We just want to be that place that is special to the area.”

For new customers, Scott recommends trying the smoked brisket tacos, though there is a try-one-of-each meat option, “like a flight of tacos!”

People can check out The Papillion Taco Guy on Facebook and Instagram for cart and event locations, specials, and more. Scott said he hopes to connect with more people.

“We had cheerleaders all along the way. They kind of feel like they’re a part of us growing—and they absolutely are.”

“We had cheerleaders all along the way. They kind of feel like they’re a part of us growing—and they absolutely are.”

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