Family hopes to launch food truck in memory of aspiring chef murdered in Rocky Mount ::

— The family of an aspiring chef who was fatally shot in Rocky Mount last month is working to live out his dream of owning a food truck.

Javonta Crandall’s brother, Janava Crandall, says he’s hoping to honor his legacy and help his family heal from their sudden loss.

“Javonta was a fun-loving guy, man,” Janava Crandall said. “We still talk about him just like he’s here because that’s how big of a presence he left on us.”

On May 5, Javonta Crandall was driving with a friend to pick up his car on Sunset Avenue in Rocky Mount.

Hours later, his brother woke up to dozens of messages and social media posts saying the unthinkable had happened.

“I called my mother, and she answered the phone crying, and at that point it was definitely confirmed that what they were saying was true,” Janava Crandall said.

Javonta Crandall had been killed in a drive-by shooting. He was 20 years old.

Crandall’s uncle told WRAL News that for a while, his nephew had struggled with going down the wrong path but had recently turned things around and was planning on going back to school.

“He had just got enrolled in culinary arts at Nash Community College,” Janava Crandall said. “The same day he had his incident, we received his acceptance letter. My mother has it framed up.”

In the weeks after his death, Janava couldn’t stop thinking about the dream his brother never lived out.

“Every time we had a cookout, me, my uncle, my little brother, my sister, we’d just sit around and say, ‘Man with how good this food is. We ought to start a food truck,’” Janava Crandall said.

Javonta eventually decided to go for it. He started cooking homemade meals, selling plates in the community to raise money.

The family food truck will be named in his honor. “I created it and I named it after him, so it’s called Taste of Tae’s catering,” Janava Crandall said.

Janava Crandall told WRAL News that the mission has given his family new life, with their mother also applying to go back to school to become a chef.

A year from now, they’re hoping to have enough money to buy their food truck – making Javonta’s dream their own.

“Tomorrow isn’t promised, life is short, so what better way to represent him than to do something that we said we were going to do,” Janava Crandall said. “So I’m going to follow through with it.”