How did we start a taco business?
Here we are, one year from when we first started talking about this idea. A food truck--taco truck specifically. Since Frank and I met, he's always been at home in the kitchen. I remember the meal he made for me for Cinco de Mayo a month into dating and the meal he made a few weeks later for my birthday. I was so impressed.
As our relationship continued, so did the cooking. He had an idea to make tacos for the neighborhood, and so we invited everyone over one afternoon in July and ended up eating tacos and drinking Bob's margaritas into the evening. One neighbor arrived late and ate 15 tacos--everyone loved them. That was when the spark ignited.
Frank and I started to talk about "what ifs" and the idea began to spin in our minds. When Frank was a kid his parents had a Mexican restaurant in Pamona, California (being from Michigan, it's all LA to me). But his parents had this restaurant and a bakery for twenty-five plus years, and Frank worked in it all through high-school and into his early twenties. It wore on him at that time, but it was in his blood.
So in about 2015, Frank shared with me that he missed it. That it was his dream to someday have a brick and mortar taqueria. After talking about it at length, we decided on a plan to make that a reality. We created our business plan to ensure we thought through every angle. We met with financial lenders and set our sites on purchasing a food truck.
So all of this was in the works when we had a casual conversation with a friend during a fundraiser we all attended. She happened to produce a big food event and said we should come and have a booth. It was just one month away. Maybe it was the triple-digit heat. Maybe it was the wine. Maybe it was just fate. We decided to jump in head first and agreed: Bacon & Barrels 2017 would be our debut.
Frank had been working on lots of different options, finally settling on a simple fried pork shoulder with apple pico-de-gallo topped with monterey cheese and bacon--the El Puerquito. Served on our homemade tortillas, of course. It was a hit. We couldn't make them fast enough to keep the crowd fed but they didn't mind the wait. It showed us that we didn't need a food truck to launch, so we went all in on our taco pop-up.
(Below) Our Bacon & Barrels line, taken by a vendor at a nearby booth. Apparently long lines at these events are a sign that the food's good because people kept coming in fear we would run out, and 1000 tacos later, we did. We learned a lot that day.