What do the Estilo Mexicano taco truck, popular Mexican dishes and a successful family business have in common with the recently opened Mi Ranchito Taqueria in Lincoln Park?
It is one in the same operation.
The owners operated the food truck for about eight years in southwest Detroit.
When the business started, the family sold tacos in a Delray park at weekend football games. He grew from there.
Safety concerns forced the family to close the business, sell the truck and move in search of a better location and a brick-and-mortar building.
That location turned out to be 2359 Fort St., Lincoln Park.
Company director Viviana Galvan said a search in the Downriver area led the family to three final suitors for their permanent place – Melvindale, Allen Park and Lincoln Park.
Galvin said there was great visibility around the corner from Lincoln Park and he offered ample parking space for customers.
“People don’t have to worry about where to park,” Galvin said. “They don’t have to park on the street.”
Juan Luis Villalobos and Maria Contreras, Galvin’s parents and restaurant owners, were already familiar with Downriver.
Galvin and his younger sister, Samantha Villalobos, also take on important roles in the company.
The family has brought all the spices and popular entrees from the food truck to the brick-and-mortar establishment, where they can grow it all.
“We couldn’t work a full kitchen in the truck,” Galvan said. “We made things like sandwiches (tortas), tacos and burritos. Now we have a full kitchen.
As the kitchen expands, so does the menu.
While only about three weeks after opening its doors to the community, some of the most in-demand specialties have already emerged.
Customers frequently request the carnitas, marinated beef birria, and tri-stew chili.
The transition from truck to southwest Detroit was like starting from scratch.
“We have a whole new clientele,” Galvin said.
Although the company is new, people go to the restaurant to check them out.
“We are so happy here,” Galvin said. “It’s the right place for us and a good starting size. We hope to expand in the future.