Family members from Dakota County and Washington County have come together to launch a new food truck celebrating their Puerto Rican heritage and authentic Puerto Rican cuisine. The truck is called:
El Jibarito Food Truck
El Jibarito is the name given to a Puerto Rican farmer and is also the name of a great sandwich. This sandwich is made with fried green plantains instead of bread, it has a crunch, and a delicious, unique taste. This tasty dish is just one of many that El Jibarito Food Truck owners Frances and Victor Cuenca of South Saint Paul, and Jose and Maribel Colon of Cottage Grove, hope lead them to success in the growing food truck industry.
Frances and Jose are brother and sister, and this venture is a true family affair. Jose and Frances come from a long line of family owned businesses – their father owned a restaurant in Puerto Rico for over 38 years. Victor has over 15 years of experience as a chef and Maribel has the business savvy and experience the family members hope provides the right recipe for success.
How did the El Jibarito Food Truck get started? With patience, persistence and a flair for food.
A few years ago Maribel contacted Frances about opening up a coffee shop knowing that Frances’s passions are baking and drinking coffee. After a lot of research they found that renting a space was too expensive. In 2013 Jose purchased a truck and mentioned to Frances that he would like to get back into the food industry. Frances turned him down at the time, knowing just how hard it is to succeed in the restaurant industry. But three years later, they have decided to pursue their passion and dream, and go along with Jose’s original idea of starting a food truck. With a love for Puerto Rican-themed food, and a passion for cooking, it was a perfect fit.
Jose and Maribel always enjoyed inviting friends and family to their house to eat Jibaritos, and they quickly realized that this could become something great. To see how others would like their tasty homemade Jibaritos, they decided to do a lunch fundraiser at their church in St. Paul, and serve the sandwich. It was a complete success. Many people bought more and even ordered some to take home.
“So that is when we decided it had to be on our menu,” says Frances Cuenca. “Not just another thing on the menu either, we had to make it our main entrée. After one bite you are hooked. We started carefully studying about the food truck business and in March 2016 we applied for the permits to start construction on the food truck. It has been a great learning experience and the results after four months of intense labor are finally here. We’re ready to serve Minnesotans the great taste of authentic Puerto Rican Cuisine.”
And with that, El Jibarito Food Truck was born.
El Jibarito features a unique and authentic menu, featuring Puerto Rican cuisine and a wide variety of entrees and side dishes, including Bacalaitos (codfish fritters), Pastelillos (fried turnovers/empanadas), Tripleta (pork, pastrami, ham, shredded cabbage, cheese, potato sticks, tomato, onions), Tembleque (coconut pudding) and Sweet Burger (burger plantain, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese).
Follow El Jibarito Food Truck on Facebook to find out where they may be serving their delicious food. They are currently hoping to serve at Food Truck Wednesday’s in Bridgepoint Business Park in September, and look forward to serving in Inver Grove Heights, South Saint Paul, Cottage Grove, St. Paul, Woodbury, Eagan, Minneapolis, and throughout the greater Twin Cities metro area at events, festivals and other special events.
To have El Jibarito Food Truck come to your event, call 651-444-0184 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.