Like many at the start of last year’s pandemic, Noblesville resident Angela Garcia had to dip into her savings when she lost her largest client as a recruiter for the food and beverage industry. For the longtime home baker, however, it didn’t take long to recoup her losses. The very weekend the state was shutting down, Garcia made a post on her neighborhood Facebook page asking if anyone wanted some chips, salsas, and guacamole. What she hadn’t counted on was the line of cars outside her house from customers picking up their orders.
Soon enough, Garcia had converted a small cargo trailer into a mobile food counter and got an inspection from the health department. After securing a commissary kitchen, she took her tacos, tamales, and dressed-up rice bowls on the road. Turns out, ready-to-eat treats were exactly what Mexican food lovers wanted while they were unable to sit down in their favorite taquerias. As winter set in, Garcia created an even bigger menu that included birria, a celebration meat stew that was 2020’s darling of social media. “For Christmas, I made over 500 tamales in one day, all by myself,” Garcia says.
This year, Garcia has hired an employee and enlisted her teenage children to lend a hand as she goes out in her new tricked-out school bus. She’ll be cooking food in the truck now, giving her more time to chat with customers, a joy she never experienced in her former career. “For so many years, I just worked from home and raised my kids,” she says. “I didn’t even know my neighbors.” Now, she loves getting recognized as the “Mexican food truck lady,” bringing flavor to the neighborhood and beyond.