New food truck offers ‘the real flavor of Mexico’

July 7, 2020

A former meatpacking worker is fulfilling her dream of owning a food truck.

Juana Silva Cortez has started Taqueria Juanita, featuring tacos, burritos and tortas with “the real flavor of Mexico.” Silva’s food is based on recipes from her native home in the state of Jalisco in Mexico.

Silva began pursuing her dream of having a food truck by catering special events in Worthington, Minn., about a year ago while also working at the JBS plant and for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

She quit those jobs in October 2019 and a couple of months later bought the old Taqueria La Gordita trailer that had been operating out of a church parking lot on the east side of Sioux Falls. She had been preparing to open the business this spring in Worthington but ran into delays while bringing the trailer up to code for Minnesota and then facing the state’s restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Silva said her husband also worked at JBS and was among those who became sick with COVID-19 this spring. He has since recovered and found a new job at Gage Brothers in Sioux Falls. They moved here a couple of months ago, Silva said, and she began the licensing steps to operate the food truck in the city.

She started serving customers June 27 and has been using the Food-N-Fuel parking lot at Ninth Street and Kiwanis Avenue as her main location.

Taqueria Juanita typically is open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 or 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and some Sundays, Silva said.

“I’m using Facebook to let people know where to find me,” she said.

She offers customers a couple of beef choices, pork and chicken. Her specialty is tacos al pastor, which is marinated pork cooked on a vertical roaster. She shaves the meat and serves it on corn tortillas with roasted pineapple and onion.

“You can use it for making a burrito too,” she said.

She sells Mexican soft drinks but doesn’t stock other beverages because she doesn’t want to compete with the convenience store, which is providing her with a location.

Once she gains more experience, Silva said she’ll be ready to operate Taqueria Juanita at festivals and other events.

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New food truck offers ‘the real flavor of Mexico’

A former meatpacking worker is fulfilling her dream of owning a food truck.

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