Taco Delite Founder Jerry Rose Lovingly Remembered

Taco Delite founders, Jerry and Wanda Rose // courtesy Rose family
Taco Delite founders, Jerry and Wanda Rose // courtesy Rose family

Taco Delite has been satisfying customers in Plano and beyond – with a few locations scattered around North Texas – since 1976. Founders Jerry and Wanda Rose opened Taco Delite shortly after making the move to Plano from Imperial, California, and worked tirelessly to ensure that the restaurant would succeed so they could support their young family. In the process of creating a business, Jerry’s generous heart quickly gave way to a unique type of restaurant – one that would hire you when times were tough, one that would give food away to a person who didn’t have the money to buy dinner.

“When kids from the high school would come in, my dad would sometimes notice a kid not eating. The kid would say, ‘I’m not hungry. I’m fine,’ but dad would put out a bean burrito and a taco for him, free of charge,” shared Jerry’s daughter, Linda Rose Humes. “He gave away a lot of free food because he understood the struggle. My parents both came from nothing.”

Jerry celebrating his 80th birthday in the restaurant last year with wife Wanda, daughter Linda and son-in-law Aaron // photo Jennifer Shertzer
Jerry celebrating his 80th birthday in the restaurant last year with wife Wanda, daughter Linda and son-in-law Aaron // photo Jennifer Shertzer

On June 5, Jerry passed away unexpectedly at the age of 80, and both his family as well as the Taco Delite team and regulars have been mourning the loss since. Linda has assumed her father’s role as owner of the original Taco Delite East Plano location on 14th Street.

There are a few other Taco Delite locations scattered around North Texas, but they are not franchises. Each is individually owned by family members and friends of the Roses. The core menu of each restaurant is the same, but each location has the freedom to add a few new items, like tortilla soup at the Independence Parkway location.

“My dad loved his family. He wanted to make sure he could provide and give as much as he could to both his kids and his grandkids,” shared Linda. “He loved his work. He had his leg amputated in 2018, and he could not wait to get back to work. We had to get a stool for him to sit on, and he would sit and take orders on that stool.”

Jerry with his family at Christmas in 2019 // courtesy the Rose family
Jerry with his family at Christmas in 2019 // courtesy the Rose family

“Not only was he a good guy, but he was a good operator. He understood the restaurant business. His success was no accident. He was proactive; he was innovative; he was vigilant,” shared Jerry’s son, Greg Rose.

Jerry and Wanda first brought nachos to Plano in the 1970s after having them at a restaurant in Wichita Falls. When computers were first coming out in the 1980s, Jerry went out and bought himself one. He taught himself how to use a computer before that knowledge was commonplace. Eventually, he taught himself how to code and designed a software that Taco Delite used to operate as a business.

The employees of the original location tend to stick around because it’s such a great place to work. Store manager Humberto has been working for them since he was 16, and he’s 43 now. The restaurant has won the City of Plano Health Department Food Safety Excellence Award several times. The kitchen uses all fresh ingredients, always.

Jerry and Wanda with store manager Humberto and longtime customer Janis Allman // courtesy Rose family
Jerry and Wanda with store manager Humberto and longtime customer Janis Allman // courtesy Rose family

The success that Taco Delite has experienced is no coincidence. It is due to the enduring hard work that Jerry and Wanda put forth to build and maintain their restaurant. Linda says that her father loved each and every one of his customers and employees. He loved the work he got to wake up and do every single day, and he loved the opportunity to innovate in order to improve his business.

“On Facebook, in the section where you list your occupation, my dad had his job listed as dishwasher,” Linda shared with a laugh. “That’s just how he was – humble and incredibly hardworking.”

The Rose family is hoping to host a celebration of Jerry’s life in October, but are waiting to make plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the large amount of people who have expressed interest in attending. For any announcements related to the service, you can check out their Facebook page.

Taco Delite Original East Plano Location >

 

1728 14th St.
Plano, TX 75074

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3 Comments

  • Thank you for this great article on Jerry Rose and family and the cherished Taco Delite in Plano. Been a Murphy resident since 1973 and my whole family grew up on their food and happy welcomes.

  • Such great memories eating there 😉. One time, I gràbed the ice scoop and got me some ice, Jerry got so anger with me. I was so embarrassed 😂. He told me that I just cantaminated the scoop and threw it away. Such a great kind gentleman. Miss you Jerry.

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