749
7 min 23 sec

Nacho Average Tacos! Chef Puts Twist on Mexican Culinary Classics

A San Diego chef turns her weekend catering gig into a popular brick and mortar restaurant for visitors on both sides of the border.
Food Product Service Social Media

Subscribe Now For A Free Five Step Tutorial

What It's About

A side hustle with a lot to taco bout!

Business Model
Service
Skills Required
Recipe Development & Marketing
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

Priscilla stressed the importance of authenticity with every dish she serves. “Add your originality and personality into everything you do.” She acknowledged how challenging the food industry is and how these factors have helped her when the chips are down.

But when asked if there was anything she’d do differently, Priscilla said, “I wouldn’t change a thing. Mistakes are good because you have an opportunity to learn from them.”

Fun Fact

In his book, Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food, Jeffery M. Pilcher, a history professor at the University of Minnesota, traced the origins of the humble taco back to silver mines in Mexico during the 18th century. In the mines, “taco” referred to the charges used to excavate ore, in the form of little pieces of paper they would wrap around gunpowder. The first “taco” references in an archive or dictionary were at the end of the 19th century and one of the first types of tacos was called "tacos de minero"—or miner’s tacos.

Notes from Chris

Episode 749
Priscilla Curiel is no stranger to the food industry. Both her parents have been running classic Mexican restaurants in Tijuana for over 30 years. It’s part of her upbringing.

A decade ago her family migrated north to Chula Vista, California, just across the border and near San Diego. They opened a restaurant called Talavera Azul. This combination of growing up in the business and jumping into work as a teenager gave her an insider’s glimpse into how the industry works.

A few years later, she started her own part-time catering business. As a single mom, she needed extra income to pay the bills. The new business helped. It was only on the weekends, but it gave her a place to exercise her culinary creativity and bring in some extra cash. It also allowed Priscilla was also making connections with members of the local restaurant industry.

She kept her startup costs low—just around $200 at first. This bought her enough for some basic ingredients and a table to prepare her food. At first, her catering brought in a few hundred dollars on the weekends. She kept at it, and by 2016, she was bringing in $10,000 on the side annually. Priscilla said she’d always save her money and reinvesting back into the business. She’s a firm believer in giving every dollar a job.

Even as a single mom and working two jobs, she kept saving. Before long, she had saved $20,000.

One day, she was selling her tacos outside a brewery when a customer liked them so much he agreed to help her set up her own brick and mortar restaurant. With the help of that perfect stranger and the money $20,000 she’d saved, Tuétano Taqueria was born.

Tuétano Taqueria has only been open for four months but is achieving $1,000 a day in sales. Margins are tight, but she’s off to a great start.

What’s next for Tuétano Taqueria? Priscilla would like to open a small chain of taquerias in her surrounding area and move her catering business under the umbrella of Tuétano. Her cooking has been described as “passionate, precise, soulful, and balanced.” It’s giving customers something to taco ‘bout.

 
  MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:


SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

cg-sig-newsletter


Download 2019 episodes: JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL

Download 2018 episodes: JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC

Download 2017 episodes: JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC

Resources

CREATE YOUR ONLINE STORE

Create your online store with Shopify using an exclusive discount for Side Hustle School listeners. For a limited time, get a free 21-day trial and a 10% discount for a whole year.

Many Side Hustle School listeners are building sites using Shopify's easy-to-learn platform. Try it free today!

Learn More

GET YOUR FIRST 1,000 EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS

Social media is nice, but building an email list is still the single best way to get customers and clients for your hustle. It's not hard to get started—sign up for a 30-day trial and join the list-building challenge! You’ll be up and running in no time.


Learn More

Quote of the Day
"In this industry, people tend to drop off when things don't go exactly to plan. But a good road is always going to be tough—hang in there! Remember, persistence always beats talent."
—Priscilla Curiel #SideHustleSchool

Sponsors & Gratitude

Don't Do Business Without It

Side Hustle School is brought to you by American Express.

No matter what you do in business, from working nine-to-five to working five-to-nine, it’s easier when you don’t go it alone. Get the powerful backing of American Express—don't do business without it! 💳


Visit American Express

Like the Show? Leave a Rating!

Side Hustle School is for you! If you’re enjoying it, please take a quick moment to leave a rating or write a quick review. It's really easy and it makes a difference! ✅

It also makes a huge difference when you tell your friends about the show. Remember, it's 100% free and listener-supported.


Here's How

Keep in Touch

There’s a new story every single day on Side Hustle School. Episodes are produced to be short and to the point—I know you’re busy. Be sure you subscribe to get instant notification of the day’s broadcast!





To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau