A 28-year-old Bryan native and Aggie graduate recently moved back to his hometown to open the area's first Taco Casa restaurant near the intersection of Briarcrest Drive and North Texas 6.
Last week, Tim Owens, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Ali, celebrated the grand opening of his fast-food Mexican restaurant with a "steady" flow of customers, he said.
After graduating from Bryan High School in 2003, Tim Owens went on to earn his degree from Texas A&M University in 2007, at which point he started working for Chick-fil-A as a field manager.
The position with the fast-food chicken company required him to move several times, including to Virginia, Georgia and South Carolina.
"We left Bryan-College Station in 2007 and have been trying to get back ever since," he said. "Opening Taco Casa was a great opportunity for us to come home."
The couple has two girls, ages 2 and 4, whom Tim Owens said he hopes to use in luring his parents back to the area.
Tim Owens' father, Tim Owens Sr., is a former pastor of First Baptist Bryan and resigned in 2009 to do more missionary work and minister at a small church where he first preached in Oklahoma.
The junior Tim Owens wasn't shy about calling his restaurant what it is.
"We're not trying to kid anybody - we're fast food," he said. "But we're unlike most fast-food restaurants. I don't have a freezer in this entire kitchen."
Serving fresh food is a priority at Taco Casa, Tim Owens said. Blocks of cheese are grated daily, the refried beans are made from scratch beginning with uncooked pinto beans, and the produce is shipped in within three days of being harvested.
Tim Owens said the restaurant features two drive-thru lines, both manned by their own cashier, and part of their customer service philosophy is keeping trash cans out of dining areas, a sign to eaters that they don't have to clean up after themselves.
Each shift requires about 30 people, he said, adding that as of opening day they had 14 trained employees and, to fill while more were hired, employees from Taco Casa restaurants outside of Bryan were being brought in to work at the local location.