Ever since Franco Mendiola was a child, he has always felt like he had the “entrepreneur bug.”
“When I was nine my mom took me to the candy store and got me 10 bucks worth of candies,” Mendiola said. “She was like, ‘Alright, what do you want to do?’ So I set up one of those coffee tables outside my house and started selling those candies to my neighbors.”
Mendiola has since grown up, but his entrepreneurial spirit has never waivered. With a passion for food, Mendiola put himself through culinary school and worked for several diverse corporate kitchens and facilities in Washington; his perseverance paid off. What started out on his mother’s coffee table has now become his very own business called, Tacos Mirrey.
“I always had this feeling that I don’t want to be an employee," Mendiola said. "I want to be my own boss. If I want to do whatever I want someday, then I can do it.”
Tacos Mirrey is a Mexican food truck that focuses on scratch-made charcoal grilled prime rib, al pastor and wagyu tacos served on handmade tortillas along with other Mexican specialties and fresh sides.
“Since I came to the U.S., I noticed there was this idea that tacos are just something very basic,” Mendiola said. “But most of the U.S. people don’t know where the meat comes from. So I decided to go on this mission to tell the world, or U.S., that there’s more to it.”
Jumping through hurdles
Like many other businesses, COVID-19 and price increases had taken their toll and shifted Mendiola’s plans and opening schedule. First, it took months to receive his trailer. Then, in order for Tacos Mirrey to move forward, the health department needed to approve Mendiola’s plan and license. Tacos Mirrey officially opened in October of 2022.
Mendiola reached out to Business Impact NW in July of 2021, receiving financial assistance and guidance for his business. “The loan officer was very helpful,” Mendiola said. “She said, ‘Let’s start you with this loan and if that doesn’t work we can look for another one.'”
Taking control of his destiny
Mendiola is interested in franchising and sees many Tacos Mirrey trucks in his future. Eventually he also wants to expand his business into a brick and mortar space similar to a bar where customers can drink on inside, and pick up their food on the outside.
Are you a food or farm business looking for support? Connect with a Food Business Resource Center coach for free today.
About the author
Crystal Barnes is a senior at Western Washington University, majoring in Public Relations Journalism. She enjoys dogs, sketching, and being outdoors. Crystal is devoted to writing about people's passions and interest and hopes that her writing inspires others along the way as it does for her.