I Lost $5,000 When I started My Food Truck with Gracias Señor Taqueria
Meet Rodolfo, owner of Gracias Senor Taqueria, a food truck that focuses on selling authentic tacos with high-quality ingredients. He is an immigrant entrepreneur with lots of experience and knowledge to share.
How did it all begin?
In the early stages of my journey to start a food truck business, I had a business partner that I didn't know very well but made the rookie mistake of trusting him, and he ended up stealing my part of the investment money. I was down 5K from the get-go just because I was a rookie. Because this happened, I was very disillusioned and, to a certain degree, very depressed. Having my mother and other people who depended on me pushed me to do research and make a stand, and went a step further and bought an actual truck. I went from commissary to commissary to find information and found an older gentleman who was also an immigrant who was selling his food truck.
How did you come up with your name?
The actual reason why I named my food truck Gracias Senor is because I wanted to be a reminder to myself to stay grateful and say to the customers thank you for your support. I also wanted it to be a reminder of all the good despite all the hardships and will spread to the people we love.
What keeps you motivated?
It's my mom; she has done so much for me and encouraged me to reach for further goals. That's one and also the immigrant community. Any person that is trying to start a business or educate themselves, those people inspires me to do and be the best I can because that's how I express gratitude.
What does a normal day look like for you?
It starts off really early. I have to travel to south central, where we do a lot of the prep. Everything is prepped the day of. It's like a lean operation. Many people see a food truck as a restaurant, and it's not the same environment. A food truck is about speed and efficiency, while a restaurant also requires speed and efficiency; most people go there to take some time to sit and eat. After, we sold for a couple of hours, packed up, and had back in the horrible traffic.
What would you like to say to the audience?
I encourage everyone to support a friend because running a business is very demanding. You, as an individual, can support a business, and that can make such a big impact on someone's life.
If you’d like to support Rodolfo, follow his Instagram @GraciasSenorTaqueria, and watch the full story on our YouTube channel. If you are an immigrant-origin entrepreneur and would like to collaborate with us, email firstname.lastname@example.org.