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John K. Turner

Born: 8-Jul-1931
Birthplace: Detroit, MI
Died: 30-Sep-2004
Location of death: Cheyenne, WY
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Lutheran
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Founder of Taco John's

Military service: US Army Air Corps (Korean War)

John K. Turner was a cowboy and rancher who loved Mexican food, and perfected his own recipes for seasonings and sauces before building his Taco House food stand, by hand, on a small lot in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He opened the business in March 1968, grinding spices and preparing the seasonings in his basement and garage, and the taco stand was an immediate success. After opening a second, larger restaurant the following year, Turner sold franchising rights to local businessmen Harold Holmes and Jim Woodson, and the new owners began opening a series of restaurants called Taco John's, using his recipes. The company's expansion scheme was novel in its early years, opening restaurants in pre-fabricated kitchen-trailers constructed in Cheyenne and trucked to small towns, which allowed new locations to open almost overnight, as soon as water and electricity could be hooked up. Turner, meanwhile, used the proceeds to open a tortilla factory in Cheyenne, and became active in Habitat for Humanity. He sold the remainder of his interest in Taco John's in 1985, and died in 2004. The company, still based in Cheyenne, now has some 400 restaurants in 24 states.

Wife: Bonnie Turner (m. 2-Aug-1953)
Son: John Turner, Jr.
Son: Steven Turner
Son: Mark Turner

    Taco John's Founder (1968)
    Habitat for Humanity


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