Nacho Mama’s Tacos, a food truck offering authentic Mexican cuisine, took home the top prize in last month’s Food Truck Cup.
The event, held April 6th, was a competition between five local food trucks held during Longmont Restaurant week. The event raised $7,637 for Longmont Food Rescue. The two-year-old nonprofit fills gaps in food distribution in Longmont.
Kelly Mahoney, Executive Director of Longmont Food Rescue, gushed about the fundraiser, which drew a crowd of over 450, calling it, “Beyond successful. We had beautiful weather and wonderful businesses participating. It was fun packing people in.”
Attendees live-voted to choose the winner in a process that turned out to be “really fun” said Mahoney. “It brought a different aspect to a festival that people here in Longmont haven’t experienced before.”
Nacho Mama’s Tacos bested Shinkyu-No, a Japanese themed truck, by a single vote to land in first place. The taco truck served almost two hundred samples of discada, a northern Mexican barbecue, dished up in homemade corn tortilla cups.
Owned by Jesse Longoria, his wife Shelley Albright, and their son Ryan Albright, Nacho Mama’s Tacos has been open since October 2018. Initially, at Ryan’s instigation, the three thought of opening a restaurant but decided to start off small with a food truck first.
Plans for the business have been in the works for a long time, with the biggest initial challenge being finding a suitable truck. That search took 2 1/2 years, with Jesse scouring the country for the right one. Ironically, the hunt ended in Longmont, when he saw the perfect truck for sale on Main Street, on his way to the airport for a trip to look at a different one. “He called me and said, ‘You’re not going to believe this,'” Albright said. They bought the truck the next day.
Longoria fitted out the inside of the truck himself. “He put a lot of time and energy into how to make the truck so that we don’t bump butts,” Albright said, adding that “it just flows perfectly.”
The trio, along with their extended family, spend every weekend cooking in a commissary kitchen. Their specialty is al pastor, pork shoulder marinated in a homemade sauce, stuffed with pineapple and onions, and cooked on a vertical spit, or trumpo.
“Our hashtag is ‘Fresh is best,'” said Albright, adding that, “we do everything on the truck as fresh as we possibly can.”
“We like to change our menu constantly,” Ryan added.
Nacho Mama’s Tacos keeps it owners, who all have day jobs, busy. “My phone just blew up since the competition,” said Longoria. “Regular customers are going from town to town. They’ll drive all the way out to Greeley just to try our food.”
There are challenges, though. “Selling out at one event and needing to be at the other event by nine o’clock in the morning makes for a long night,” Albright admitted. And Longoria is still getting used to working on the truck. “It’s a new experience,” he said.
Longoria loved working the Food Truck Cup. The best part, he said, was “seeing people enjoy our food, and joking and having fun. “The turnout was amazing, everything went perfect.”
How much do you value the Longmont Observer?
As Longmont’s only nonprofit newsroom, our only vested interest is to supply you with quality, nonpartisan, community-driven, Longmont-focused journalism. But, we need your help. We depend on our members to help us report Longmont news and to keep our journalism available and accessible by all. If you value what we do at the Longmont Observer, please show us with your support.