Javad (the second “a” stressed as in māde) Watson and wife Tiffany met at Southern Union State Community College in Wadley Alabama in the late nineties. Both are sports-minded and very competitive then and now. Tiffany played volleyball and Javad was a dual-sport athlete playing baseball and basketball. They’ve carried that competitive edge their entire life which has laid the foundation of successful business ventures.
The dream of SoCo is a family affair but its genesis comes from the countless hours Javad spent cooking for people throughout his life; such as charity events, churches, and for friends. There was something about his food that had people coming back for more; namely quality and of course the joy of eating it.
Watson credits his life-long passion for cooking from his upbringing with his grandmother and mother whom he spent countless hours learning from. As a way to honor his grandmother Joyce, he shortened her name to joy. Watson’s mother helped too; she hand her hands in the first iteration of BBQ sauce. Tiffany related; the pair spend all day in her kitchen trying different combinations of ingredients. Overtime Javad would continue to hone the sauce into what is now his signature condiment, but don’t go dousing those ribs just yet. Watson maintains, despite the time invested sauce is still just a topper, not the main attraction. Taste the meat; experience the joy, and then use a modicum at a time.
The Watsons hustled from 2014 to 2017 to save while working in Property Management. In 2017 the two visited Southern Dimensions Group in Waycross, GA to outfit their custom BBQ trailer, with a three-month buildout. Tiffany said it was scary giving up the normal nine-to-five gig, knowing everything is on your shoulders now but it was worth the initial jump. She was so committed, as the completion of the trailer neared, Tiffany made the decision to withdraw from her 401k to cover the outstanding balance.
The Watsons credit a family of mentors that helped ease them into the food truck scene. Southern Fresh Farms took Watson under their wings (chicken and actual), guiding him in the business, promoting him, and even helped secure food truck gigs for him. Other mentors include: “Coasting Donuts”, “The Frozen Chosen” ice cream truck, and “The Three Little Birds” food truck. “It’s more than business, it’s a family,” Watson said and when you visit SoCo you sense you’re around family, feel free to be yourself.
Scottsboro is near home for Tiffany who has a grandfather that lives in Hollywood. She and her sister take care of him and she travels back and forth to Florida with their business dealings in South Florida. The Watson’s are proud of their investment in Scottsboro and showed me around the grounds. One of his early BBQ-related purchases was a roasting box called a “La CAJA China.” It’s an oven where the heat source (charcoal or wood) is placed on top of the food, instead of below the food as conventional ovens.
From their hard work and grind they have made a dream come true. The future of SoCo looks bright with their community-minded outlook. They plan to renew the lot in back with a stage for bands on upcoming “Food Truck Fridays” as well as host a children’s movie night; free of course.
When Watson cooks he says “it’s like delivering joy and it makes me feel good.” Knowing his food is made with quality and consistency he promises “you’ll taste the difference.” This writer encourages you to put SoCo to the test and visit them for your helping of joy, you’ll be delighted you did.
Photos By Ashley Colon at Life’s Mirror Images
Daniel Stahl - IllumintedWinds.com
Daniel Stahl is a writer and owner of
Illuminated Winds, which he launched
in 2019 while earning a Masters in
Screenwriting. He resides in Scottsboro,
Alabama with his wife and three children.
He specializes in Screenwriting, freelance,
and data analysis. He enjoys playing Fortnite
with his children, family hiking trips, and
swimming the Nickajack. He loves learning
and reading, especially Church History
which has turned fodder for various scripts.
Find him on Facebook at Illuminated Winds
or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.