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Father-daughter duo launch mobile Mexican eatery in Oak Harbor

By JANIS REID
Whidbey News-Times Staff reporter
August 24, 2013 · Updated 11:35 AM
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Owners Brenda and Eliaser Loera stand in front of their new business. / Janis Reid / Whidbey News-Times

When Eliaser Loera and daughter Brenda, both of Oak Harbor, purchased a large food truck, they initially thought they would be selling seafood from it.

Then their friends and neighbors started to get Loeras thinking.

“Everyone kept asking if we were starting a taco truck,” Brenda Loera said.

Given their Mexican descent, Loera said it seemed like an even better idea and that it would be “easy food for us to cook.”

Two weeks ago, Oak Harbor’s own taco truck Jumbo Burrito began appearing between Louie G’s and the DK Market on the corner of State Highway 20 and Southwest Barlow Street.

The Loeras initially thought they might set up shop in Mount Vernon, which already has a few existing trucks, but decided that the Oak Harbor community would respond well to what they planned to offer.

“Oak Harbor doesn’t really have a taco truck,” Brenda Loera said, “and the Mexican food that is here is American style.”

“We wanted to do something authentic.”

Eliaser Loera said that his family used to drive to Mount Vernon to get authentic tacos. Now, he is bringing fresh ingredients to Oak Harbor using recipes straight out of Southern California.

Each order is made from scratch with meats and toppings that were prepped that day.

“Sometimes we take a little longer, but the food is special-made every time,” Eliaser Loera said. “They order and it’s made right on the spot.”

The Loeras manage the location with Brenda’s boyfriend Enrique Manzo, who’s family owns a meat market in Mount Vernon. Fresh meats and produce are delivered to the taco truck every other day, he said.

The response to the food, they said, has been overwhelmingly positive and has included thank you letters from fans and customers who come back twice in the same day.

“It’s been great, really busy,” Brenda Loera said. “People comment positively and are accepting our food very well.”

One key to their success, she said, is the city’s large Navy presence and the presence of active-duty servicemen and women who have been stationed at North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego, Calif., and acquired a taste for taco truck food.

Jumbo Burrito will stay in its current location for the remainder of their allowed 60 days, the Loera’s said, but will have three Oak Harbor locations through which they will rotate in the future.

Find out where Jumbo Burrito will be parked next on their Jumbo Burrito Facebook page.

 

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