Known for his popular Tex-Mex food truck-Sol Kitchen, Jerry Perez has become a staple in Fort Wayne’s culinary scene. His love for street tacos began as a child in Laredo, Texas. He started selling his brand of tacos from a cart in 2012 on the street corners of downtown Fort Wayne. The YLNI Barr Street Farmers Market was where his business took flight. He quickly made friends with the farmers and loved utilizing locally grown/raised ingredients in his preparations. While Perez embraces the food of many cultures, strong influences circle back to his Mexican and Texan roots. With an emphasis on fresh, local, non GMO and organic ingredients, Perez has partnered with local farms including: Country Garden Organics, Roanoke—Wood Farms, Fort Wayne—Fischer Farms, Jasper, and Miller Farms, Orland, to create his menu of playful, yet elevated fare.
As a teen, Ben Thompson was influenced by his childhood hero, Art Smith, dubbed “Birdboy” and namesake to Smith Field Airport. Art was a Fort Wayne Native and world renowned aviation pilot. Ben too became a licensed pilot while still in high school, moving on to study aviation mechanics in Pittsburgh. While there, Thompson discovered and devoured the city’s local craft beer scene. After returning to Indiana, the legend of “Birdboy” (AKA Art Smith) and his adventurous spirit motivated Thompson to fuse together his two loves of aviation and craft beer. In 2015, Thompson founded Birdboy Brewing Co. Ben has developed an assortment of unique varieties, on tap at Birdboy Brewing Co. in Roanoke, IN, and now at Solbird Kitchen & Tap, in Fort Wayne, IN. In 2018, Perez and Thompson joined forces to create SOLBIRD, a , fresh kitchen & tap concept, inspired by the past, with a courageous vision for the future of craft food and drink.