When stand-up comedian Rob Jenkins spent $40,000 of his savings to start up a food truck in Texas, he probably never imagined what was to come.

In the aftermath of the Charleston church shooting, the PoBoy’s & Rich Chic’s Cajun Kitchen truck owner told customers that they could trade in Confederate memorabilia for free meals. Jenkins also told customers he planned to torch the Confederate items.

“We got a lot of backlash,” Jenkins told The Washington Post. So instead of burning the Confederate memorabilia—which included Confederate money and a book containing Confederate soldiers—Jenkins said he would donate them to a Dallas museum.

“We got a lot of hate mail with a lot of people saying ‘Burn the truck down,’” Jenkins told The Washington Post. And this hate mail continued to come even after the food truck owner promised to donate the memorabilia instead of torching it.


Photo: Facebook

“Why don’t all these ‘I’m offended’ people just get into that truck and well light it on fire,” someone wrote on PoBoy’s & Rich Chic’s Cajun Kitchen’s Facebook page. Another person replied, “Problem solved.”

Then, this Wednesday morning around 1am, Jenkin’s Odessa, TX food truck mysteriously caught fire. “It was scary. We lost everything,” Jenkins tells WaPo.

The truck could have gone up in flames after a fire started in the engine, as CBS 7 reports, or Jenkins could have lit the truck on fire himself to receive insurance. But Jenkins makes a very valid point when he says, “To me it is just very suspicious that something like that would happen exactly how the threats were made.” 

The owner of another Texas food truck, Kimberley Vandiver, set up a Gofundme account for those you would like to help Jenkins and his truck get back on the road as soon as possible. On the page, Jenkins states,

“We appreciate everyone’s support and love during this devastating time. There are three families that relied on this job. We all poured our hearts into what we did and we hope that if your able, you would pitch in a couple bucks and if not then prayers and kind thoughts are appreciated. Our insurance did not cover these damages as we only had liability coverage.”

No matter what you believe, it’s upsetting to see a small business owner have his livelihood literally go up in flames.

[via The Washington Post]