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Dealing with Devin: New taco joint coming to downtown Starkville


Devin Edgar

Devin Edgar



Devin Edgar/Dispatch Staff



A fast-casual style eatery is planned to open this spring in downtown Starkville.  


The Humble Taco will open at the corner of Jackson Street and Highway 182 as a part of the Eat Local Starkville group in hopes to help revitalize the Highway 182 corridor. 


Eat Local Starkville, which operates City Bagel Cafe, The Guest Room, Bin 612 and Restaurant Tyler, is owned by Starkville residents Brian Kelly and Chef Ty Thames. However, in opening The Humble Taco, the duo will add Restaurant Tyler General Manager Hunter Smith as a partner.  


The building being renovated for the restaurant is the old site of the full-service Humble Oil Service station. While researching the history of the highway corridor, Kelly said, he came across a photo of the service station that once operated at the intersection. He said his favorite piece of "art" is a vintage cross-stitch that reads: "It's hard to be humble when you're from Mississippi."  


With all three partners being from Mississippi, The Humble Taco was born.  


"We all loved the name and the connotations that went with it," Kelly said.  


After the Humble Oil Service Station closed, the building was eventually home to the original Starkville Discount Drugs in the 1970s. Former Mississippi Gov. Ray Mabus also owned it for many years, Kelly said, but the building has been vacant for quite some time.  


Although the trio had options to open the restaurant at other locations in Starkville that most might consider more appealing, Kelly said the thought of opening on Highway 182 kept tugging at them. 


"We kept hearing from our community that it wants revitalization on 182, and we hope to be a catalyst that brings other new businesses to the area and returns 182 to some of its forgotten glory," Kelly said.  


The Humble Taco has been a concept that Kelly, Thames and Smith have been working on for more than a year. They have traveled across the country to Chicago, New Orleans, Atlanta and Memphis researching different food scenes. And they also took a trip to Mexico City in March.  


The restaurant will rely solely on local farmers and ingredients to put food on the plates. Tortillas will be made in shop from Mississippi-grown corn, and a mix of locally-grown products and Mexican flavors can be experienced.  


Moving on, the franchises for UPS stores in Columbus and Starkville are now available to purchase. The Columbus store is located at 1835 Highway 45 N. Starkville's store sits at 834 Highway 12 W. 


Jessica Taylor, director of franchise sales for The UPS Store in the Golden Triangle area, said the inquiry process is relatively simple. Anyone interested can visit and fill out an applicant form, which Taylor said is sent directly to UPS to review.  


Each UPS franchise, she added, is individually owned and operated. 


"Owning a franchise brings endless opportunities because UPS is a brand that everyone recognizes and everyone knows," Taylor said. "Owning a franchise is one where you are in business for yourself, but never by yourself since you will have a network of individuals in the company there to help you succeed."




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