“Dude. You have to sell these.”
That’s what Laura Gonzalez’s friend and coworker at First Nations Community HealthSource always told her after eating her tamales.
“I still remember that one friend, who would tell me just go for it,” Gonzalez said. “Just go for it. And I still have his messages.”
And on June 26 this year, Gonzalez went for it, opening her food truck, Laura’s Flamin’ Enchis-N-More. The food truck serves enchiladas, Frito pie and more Southwestern snacks.
“I finally said: ‘OK, no more’,” Gonzalez said. “‘Don’t let that fear hold you back,’ you know, and went for it.”
Gonzalez, who has worked in health care for 12 years, still works full-time for Blue Cross Blue Shield as a community health coordinator. She and her mother had been selling tamales for several years before Gonzalez decided to take the leap and buy a truck.
Starting the food truck was difficult; when Gonzalez was shopping for a vehicle, she was scammed when she tried to buy a truck in Mexico. One of her first days selling, she sold just one hamburger.
But now, she said Laura’s Flamin’ Enchis-N-More is a success. Gonzalez has secured coveted gigs at Tractor Brewing and Marble Brewery, as well as contracts at two car dealerships.
“I was kind of nervous too because people were like, ‘It’s hard to get into Marble,'” Gonzalez said.
But Gonzalez was persistent; she repeatedly reached out to Marble Brewing via phone, text, email and Facebook until the brewery’s events coordinator asked her for a sample.
“I took her samples Monday — she texted me by the afternoon and said: ‘Oh, we’d love to have you permanently,'” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez’s mother, Nora Padilla, has helped with the business since the beginning, making the rice and chile, which Gonzalez says has a kick. Gonzalez plans to start making tamales again to sell out of the truck soon.
Gonzalez said once, she gave a customer the wrong order. When he returned to the truck, Gonzalez asked to fix his order for free — however, the customer refused the refund because he enjoyed the wrong order so much.
“He said, ‘I ate them!'” Gonzalez said.
Laura’s Flamin’ Enchis-N-More is at Tractor Brewing Co., 1800 Fourth NW, on Friday nights, and Marble Brewery, 9904 Montgomery NE, on Sunday nights. More information is available at @lauras_flamin_enchis_n_more on Instagram or Laura’s Flamin’ Enchis -N- More on Facebook.