Cory and Cherry Pitts, both born and raised in Laurel, have always had a passion for making great food and sharing it with family and friends. Last spring, when the pandemic created new obstacles to overcome, they used that passion — along with more than two decades of combined experience in the industry — to create a family business that has quickly become one of the most fun and unique food stops in downtown Laurel.
Now residents of Ellisville, the couple had experience working together to beat the odds from Cherry’s fight against breast cancer. Due to the increased health risks for his wife during the pandemic, Cory said they put their minds together to come up with alternatives for work.
“With her being a breast cancer survivor, we didn’t want to risk her being exposed to everything, so we couldn’t just return to the regular jobs we had been working,” Pitts said. “So we came up with the idea for Dragon the Wagon.”
Dragon the Wagon is a family-operated food truck that can be found off North Magnolia Street on most afternoons. If the name sounds unique, just wait until you see the menu.
The most popular item is a specialty burger called the “Big Debbie,” made with two patties, two slices of cheese, two slices of bacon piled between two honey buns, a sweet substitute for traditional hamburger buns.
Among the other many things that keep customers coming back for more are Rotel cheese fries, baked beans filled with five different meats, chili dogs, stuffed burritos and a recently featured pizza burger.
The plan was to make their business as fun and unique as possible, Cory Pitts said, and they knocked that out of the park.
“The idea was just to offer people fun, carnival-style foods that you typically wouldn’t be able find but once or twice a year,” he explained. “When someone thinks about going out to grab a burger, a burrito or a hotdog, there are plenty of places here in Laurel to get those things. But there’s only one place you can find a burger that’s made with honey buns.”
Dragon the Wagon also caters food for parties and other special events, such as last month’s charity baseball tournament for Jones County Deputy Derick Knight and his family, who lost their home to a fire just before Christmas.
Along with all the comfort the food can offer, the Pitts family believes their fun, flavor-filled menu provides a new, unique way for locals to celebrate special events or memorable achievements.
“We wanted to offer fun ways to help people celebrate special occasions in life,” Cory Pitts said. “If your kid hits a home run on a Saturday, you can bring the family by and reward him with a special kind of burger that just makes the whole day more memorable.”
Having worked together to beat the odds once again, Cory Pitts said the added pleasure of serving customers in his hometown is just the icing on top of a great opportunity — kind of like the “Big Debbie.”
“We’re both from Laurel, and we’ve been in Jones County all our lives,” he said. “We’re just happy and excited to be able to share what we love with our customers.”