By Mary Sisk
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — The owners of a bright red food truck found weekly at Rockford City Market are opening their first brick-and-mortar restaurant downtown to bring you “food that feeds the soul.”
T & C’s Cooking Creations has been at the market for two years in its easily spotted red truck. The mobile eatery has built a fan base that craves its soul food cup with macaroni and cheese, candied yams and more. There is also a vegan version of the cup.
Now, the business operated by Quintisha “Tisha” Hannah and Craig Rideout is getting ready to take over the former Sister’s on Main, 307 S. Main St.
The couple signed their lease in June, and they expect to be open by the second week of October. The restaurant will include a bar, feature live music and have an overall classy aesthetic, Hannah said.
“We want it to be nice, small, intimate,” Hannah said. “Once a month we want to have a band come in and perform.”
Hannah hasn’t revealed the name for the new restaurant yet. That will be unveiled at a later date, she said.
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The menu for the restaurant will feature some of their catering and food truck dishes, but multiple brand-new options will be available, too.
“We do food that feeds the soul,” Hannah said. “One of the things for the restaurant we’re going to go by is ‘modern-day food with a hint of soul.'”
They are also hiring experienced staff for the sit-down restaurant. You can reach out to Hannah on Facebook at @tandccookingcreations to inquire about positions.
Hannah, 38, has lived in Rockford the majority of her life but attended high school at George Westinghouse College Prep in Chicago. Before starting T & C, she worked in customer service for more than 12 years, and Rideout worked at UPS.
Hannah has been cooking since childhood, when she learned the skill from her grandmother. She started hosting weekly dinners to experiment with recipes, and her meals got so popular she decided to start catering events.
“When we first started, we did dinners,” Hannah said. “From that the catering started and from catering then the food truck started.”
In February 2018, the couple committed to their business full-time.
They made their debut at Rockford City Market in 2021 in a tent, but purchased a food truck the same year to support the demand.
“One of the goals when we first started was to be at City Market,” Hannah said. “One of our dreams come true is being able to be a part of it.”
When they’re not at Rockford City Market, they’re sometimes found at Rock Valley College events or at private bookings.
The idea to open a storefront came from a Rock Valley College event they catered in May, when Rockford Chamber of Commerce member Jeff Bailey tried their food and encouraged them to join the commerce.
Bailey also showed the couple the former Sister’s on Main, which closed in February, according to the Rockford Register Star.
The tentative hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
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They plan to continue catering and operating the food truck by adding staff to help out with those business components.
Hannah and Rideout are busy prepping their new restaurant space, but they are excited for they day when they can welcome their first guests.
“It’s really exciting; it hasn’t been overwhelming yet,” Hannah said. “We just finished getting all the equipment into the kitchen.”