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Meet Jill Frey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jill Frey.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Being an entrepreneur was always in my blood. My great grandparents ran businesses including a hotel and restaurant. My grandparents owned a Pizza and Italian Restaurant, and my parents owned retail stores. So that was basically all I knew.

I grew up in a small resort town in Long Island, NY. As I mentioned before, my parents owned retail stores. In 2006, my parents were ready to retire. My husband and I just welcomed our second child and I was not able to go back to working the store full time. between that and the rising cost of living in the town, we decided to sell everything and move to Summerville.

At first, since my children were still very young, I was a SAHM. But once they grew up and were old enough, the entrepreneurial spirit in me awoke and I wanted to do something. We contemplated many different ideas from opening a retail store to a coffee shop and then realized the best way to do that was to open a food truck, in 2018 Burgers ‘N Freys, LLC was born.

Naming our business was pretty easy. Our last name is Frey which is pronounced “FRY” so our business name is sort of a play on words. Burgers ‘N Freys, LLC.

Though we were never strangers to hard work, we, like most people, I would assume, didn’t know how much hard work was involved and all the paperwork that was needed to open the truck, but we have learned along the way. We have also met some wonderful people in the food truck community. The journey has not been easy, and there was a huge learning curve, but we love what we do and love to bring great burgers to the public!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Being a food truck owner is not an easy task! Most people have no idea what it takes to run a food truck. First of all, in SC, DHEC requires food trucks need to work out of a commissary or shared kitchen. This means that most of us have to rent space in a kitchen, monthly.

Then, in addition to all the health inspection regulations we have to comply with, we need to have a business license for every town and county that we serve. This has forced us to limit our service area to Dorchester County, Berkeley County, North Charleston, and parts of unincorporated Charleston County. I think we hold 7 or 8 different business licenses for different municipalities and that is not near as many as many other trucks hold!

All of these things were things we learned along the way. Then of course, like many aspects of life, we just start to turn a profit for the year, and boom, the tow vehicle needs $2000 worth of work. I don’t think those kinds of struggles are different than any other business, though.

Then in 2020, right at the start of the pandemic, I was hospitalized and required emergency surgery. I was hospitalized for two weeks. No one could visit me because of covid. When I was admitted to the hospital, the staff were not even wearing masks, yet, and then two or three days after I was there, the mask mandate was implemented.

My surgery set us back a lot. At a time when food trucks started to thrive and work neighborhoods because restaurants were closed, we couldn’t because I needed to heal.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I think I may have answered part of this in my intro. But I will tell you a little more about the food truck. We specialize in hand-pressed burgers. We used to offer many different varieties but since we have limited storage space on the food truck, we had to narrow it down to our few best sellers.

Probably the burger I am most proud of is my Palmetto Burger. This is a hand-pressed 4oz. perfectly seasoned burger patty, topped with bacon-onion jam, pimento cheese, and a fried onion ring. It is my favorite burger that we sell. It has also been copied from other burger places, but ours is the original!

We also sell a Donut Burger. Yes, this is just as it sounds! It is a perfectly seasoned 4oz burger patty topped with bacon-onion jam, and cheddar cheese served between two (YES TWO!) lightly grilled glazed donuts! This is a popular winter festival burger.

I think what sets us apart from others are the varieties of burgers that we make and the special seasoning that we use!

What matters most to you?
My family matters most to me. Everything I am doing I am doing for my children. I hope one day they will want to follow in my footsteps

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