Six years ago, brothers Adam, Steve and Jared Terry walked away from “The Great Food Truck Race” feeling somewhat dejected.

The siblings behind the Utah-born food truck Waffle Love had dominated on Food Network’s competition, drumming up sales across the country and never finishing lower than second place during any stage of the race.

But then victory escaped them in the final showdown.

During a dramatic season finale, Waffle Love came up short against Pho Nomenal Dumplings, a North Carolina-based food truck. The Terrys ultimately walked away as the season’s runner-up in 2015.

Second place is nothing to scoff at, but the loss stuck with them. And then, last year, a Food Network producer reached out to them on Facebook and gave them a shot at redemption: to compete in an all-star edition of “The Great Food Truck Race.”

Of the seven alumni teams competing in the new series, which premieres Sunday, June 6, Waffle Love is the only team that didn’t actually win a season. So for the Terrys, there’s a lot to prove.

But Food Network had a stipulation: For Waffle Love to be given the shot at redemption, all three brothers had to come back and compete. 

That was going to be easier said than done.

It would involve reuniting two brothers whose relationship was on the rocks.

Provo's waffle truck was started by a motivated father, encouraged by his family
Utah's Waffle Love to compete on Food Network's 'The Great Food Truck Race'

The falling out

Before their falling out, Adam and Steve Terry had always worked well together. 

Growing up, Adam Terry was the older brother, a protector of sorts. He was dubbed the “guardian angel” of the family, the one who often checked in on his siblings and made sure they were OK. 

When Waffle Love — a food truck Adam Terry said he started as a “Hail Mary” after being laid off from his banking job in 2012 — began expanding into multiple food trucks and storefront locations, Adam Terry brought on his brothers, Steve and Jared.

They all got along, just as they always had. And that camaraderie played a major role in their successful run on “The Great Food Truck Race” in 2015. 

It also made the falling out a few years later all the more unexpected.

The brothers didn’t go into much detail about the reasons for the falling out. But they said it was a business-related matter that seeped into their personal lives. 

“It was like we had all these plans, and then all of a sudden it was gone,” Steve Terry said. “ It kind of seemed out of nowhere for me, and so I was pretty hurt about it.”

The cast of “The Great Food Truck Race: All Stars.” | Food Network

Steve Terry ended up moving on from Waffle Love. Several months later, his older brother reached out to make amends. While that got the brothers on speaking terms, it wasn’t enough of a push for reconciliation.

“We were cordial, but I didn’t feel like I could really be open and have a good relationship with my brother,” Steve Terry said. 

But when Food Network reached out with an unsuspecting Facebook message, the brothers decided to reevaluate. If they were going to compete again, they would need to be all-in, working together all of the time. They would need to be on the same page. 

After some tough conversations, they reached a conclusion: They were ready to whip up a return.

“Really, it’s a story of redemption for us — and not just in terms of a second chance at grabbing the belt,” Adam Terry said. “This was a really cool way for us to get those things resolved, bury the hatchet and actually redeem an incredible relationship.” 

A second chance on ‘The Great Food Truck Race’ 

Once they arrived on location for “The Great Food Truck Race: All Stars,” which was filmed last year in California, it didn’t take long for the brothers to get into a rhythm.

Steve Terry was the designated salesman of the crew, the one who would go out and round up as many customers as he could find. Success in the competition is driven by sales — each week, the food truck with the least amount of sales goes home — so Steve Terry would scout out popular locations and try to attract people with samples. 

“It’s like door-to-door sales,” he said with a laugh. “You’re basically trying to be as non-pushy but as charming as you can be.” 

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Jared Terry was making all the waffles and doing his best to keep up with the demand.

“It was really fun just to see how fast I could move,” he said.

But the tug of war between those roles also got tense at times, leading to some heat between the two brothers. That’s where Adam Terry — whose primary job was to make the waffle dough and do other preparation — came in. 

Jared Terry works on the Waffle Love food truck for Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race: All Stars,” which premieres June 6.
Jared Terry works on the Waffle Love food truck as part of the competition for Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race: All Stars,” which premieres June 6. | Food Network

“We had some rough patches on the show,” Jared Terry said. “Adam played a really good role in kind of being the equalizer between the brothers. … Adam was there to just let us know that we’re loved, everything’s going to work out, we’re going to have a great time.” 

Filming took place in 2020, so the brothers had a hard time remembering the ins and outs of the competition that premieres on national TV Sunday.

But this much the brothers do remember: Being together again was a recipe for success.

The first time they competed in “The Great Food Truck Race,” they often let stress get the best of them. They forgot to enjoy the moment and have fun.

This time, especially after an unprecedented falling out, they took the time to appreciate each other. They reveled in the fact that they had this scheduled time to spend with each other — an increasingly rare opportunity considering they all have families of their own.

“It was like coming home,” Steve Terry said. “It just felt comfortable. Obviously we’re fiery and we get into it, ’cause all brothers do, right? That’s what you’re supposed to do, I think. But it just felt really great to be back with my brothers.

“Relationships come first, family comes first,” he continued. “You’re never going to have a relationship with anyone else like you have with one of your brothers. ... It’s something that you should cherish and really take advantage of, because it’s a really beautiful thing.” 

‘An incredible ride’

After six episodes of intense competition, the last team standing on “The Great Food Truck Race: All Stars” will be named the all-time champion and receive a $50,000 grand prize. 

For Adam Terry, who started Waffle Love when he was a desperate, unemployed father of three, living in a one-room bedroom apartment in Provo, it’s hard to fathom that nearly 10 years later, his business has reached national exposure on Food Network for the second time.

He still has a hard time believing that what began as a single food truck, designed and painted by his family, has expanded into Arizona, California, Texas and Idaho.

And, during a pandemic that virtually shut down the food truck business — “Food trucks were probably the hardest hit of the restaurant sector,” he said — Adam Terry was relieved to see the Waffle Love stores, with the aid of delivery services, continue to succeed. 

“This has been an incredible ride,” he said. “It’s a real incredible turn of events, and I just feel so lucky and fortunate. … We’re just happy to be slinging some waffles and making people’s day and putting a smile on people’s faces. That’s what we’re here for.” 

Note: “The Great Food Truck Race: All Stars” premieres Sunday at 10 p.m. MT on Food Network. The show will air on Sundays through July 18.