COLORADO SPRINGS — A chef in the Colorado Springs community who was homeless two weeks ago now has a roof over his head and his very own food truck. His name is Tony Rojas.
It's all thanks to the Dream Machine Foundation. They travel all over the country to grant people their dream wish. They ran into Rojas, heard his story, and changed his life. But the story gets even better because now Rojas is being mentored by a popular chef in town.
Chef Brother Luck owns two restaurants in Colorado Springs, including Lucky Dumpling and IV by Brother Luck. Soon, he will be helping Rojas get his new food truck business off the ground.
"It's great. I've never run a business before. So he can help me run the business part, and he can give me advice on cooking too because I don't know everything," Rojas said.
The two prepared food together on the Sunday Rojas cooked for the community out of his brand new food truck for the first time.
"You see the fire, the desire, that passion, that excitement and as he's pushing that knife and he's talking about the ingredients, there's such a wealth of knowledge there," Luck said. "My goal is to help him navigate the waters through licensing through financial success, as far as operations, being able to staff and making sure he has the right handbooks and guidelines and make sure he's following the right procedures when it comes to temperature controls."
Luck said owning a restaurant means restoring your community, which is why he also said it's a blessing to help Rojas pursue his dream of being a food truck owner.
"I mean there's a lot of things that have to happen in order to be successful. It's one thing to have a dream and now we have to execute that dream and live that dream," Luck said. "If I can be there to give good advice and good directions and provide resources, it's a beautiful blessing."
For Rojas, he's now able to get back to doing what he loves, which is cooking, and showing the world what his TikTok viral "Nacho Tacos" is all about.
"This is great. There's no word for it because what I feel is love, appreciation, commitment," Rojas said. "I went to school to be a cook, I love cooking, it helps, to me it helps get through things in life."
Rojas and Luck will be working together in the upcoming weeks and months before officially opening the food truck. In the meantime, the food truck does an Instagram page where you can find updates. It's @TonysNachoTacos.
The Dream Machine Foundation and supporters who saw Rojas' story on TikTok also helped Rojas and his wife move into an apartment in Colorado Springs. The two lived in a van for 18 months, but now they have a two-bedroom apartment to call theirs.
When Rojas got into his new place, he said, "It's one of the greatest days of my life. There's no word for it. Because what I feel is love, appreciation, commitment, diligence, all of that. And it took a lot to get here."
The organization and supporters helped raise $100,000 to cover the cost of the food truck and to cover the cost of the apartment so Rojas and his wife can live there rent-free for a year.
The Dream Machine Foundation wanted to set Rojas up for success in running a business, but they also wanted him to have a place to call his own.
Rojas said one day, he wants to travel with the food truck and cook outside sporting events or a concert. He said his goal, is to share his food with the world.