by Kerry Hubbard
as told to Julie Weingarden Dubin
I never pictured myself as a truck driver but I love it and there’s no turning back. In July of 2011, I decided to combine my creativity with my love for cooking and started a mobile food truck business, Taco Mama.
I had experience catering and I thought this would be a great way to still do what I love — cook — but with the flexibility to make my own hours. I do all of the cooking, booking of events and truck driving.
There’s a huge mobile food trend happening in the Detroit area right now. I knew I wanted to get into the business but was a little intimidated. Finally I thought, "If I don't do it, someone else will!"
I bought my truck and I was lucky enough to find one already set up with everything I needed, although the maintenance is ongoing. The most challenging part of launching the business was obtaining all of the permits and licensing to get started. It took a lot of persistence and still presents its challenges in certain cities.
The food is cooked to order — fast. I’ve tried to branch out and be different than some of the other taco trucks by putting some different things on my menu. This includes my "Twisted Tacos” line. The “Rueben” taco, “Jerk Chicken” and “Philly Cheesesteak” tacos are a few of the customer favorites.
Being a mother is my No. 1 job and will always come first and foremost in my life. But my boys are proud that I created Taco Mama and I believe that what they’re learning from this whole experience is invaluable. They see that hard work pays off and you really can do whatever you set your mind to.
My husband, Matt, a marketing executive, loves all the hype surrounding the food truck scene and enjoys helping out on the truck when he has free time.
Motherhood has changed me in so many ways. I am constantly learning from my kids and their needs come first. Sometimes I find myself scrambling trying to find babysitting and activities to keep them busy while I'm working and I worry that I'm not giving them my time. But they always reassure me that they think what I'm doing is cool and they’re completely fine.
I love when I bring my work to my kids’ school. The students recently held a fundraiser and the class that raised the most money won a lunch from Taco Mama. I’m grateful that I can give back to the community and see my kids so excited when my truck pulls up to their school. My boys love helping out where they can. They see how much time goes into the business and they’re learning what it means to work hard at something you’re passionate about. Taco Mama’s been a great adventure so far and I'm so excited to see where the future takes us!
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