North Adams taco truck has busy opening day


NORTH ADAMS -- On his first day dishing out food from the confines of a food truck, Robert Rivas couldn't prepare the tacos, burritos and other Mexican food favorites he grew up eating fast enough.

Throughout Friday morning and afternoon, parked near the 70 block of Marshall Street, Rivas who co-founded the "El Coche Taco Co." truck with his wife estimated that he sold about 20 pounds of marinated beef and 15 pounds of brined chicken. Rivas filled an estimated 50 orders, but said he sold enough food to serve between 75-100 people.

He singled out the carne asada tacos and the Mexican rice as his personal favorites.

"It was hectic," said Rivas, who worked with his friend Jorge Tena on Friday. "It was busy. A lot of people were waiting longer than they should have. They braved the cold and stood out there for us."

With 30-degree temperatures, Rivas saw strong support for his new food venture, which translates from Spanish as The Taco Truck. People can follow the truck on the Twitter handle @tacotruck413. The truck will be operating weekdays.

"We were completely swamped," Rivas said. "It was overwhelming in the best of ways."

Food trucks, which serve food but without the dining amenities like in traditional sit-down restaurants, are common to many regions of the country, but not many have set up in the Berkshires.

"He has done everything above and beyond what you had to do to be proper, correct and legal," said North Adams Director of Health Manny Serrano, who worked with Rivas on following city ordinances governing food trucks.

Up until the summer, Rivas worked for seven years in the college admissions office at Williams College and then a year at Bennington College.

Following the birth of his daughter, he quit his job, stating that he didn't want to be away from his daughter for travel requirements.

He didn't waste any time setting up his new business.

Rivas said within two months of quitting his job, he had opened his food truck. Rivas, a North Adams resident, said he decided to work out of North Adams because the city laws were hospitable to food trucks.

He's still learning about how other towns and cities regulate food trucks, but he was appreciative and pleasantly surprised on his first day at work.

"It's the first day and I don't know if it would take foot," Rivas said. "It's pretty good feedback from the Twitter feed."

After a long day at work, Rivas wasn't ready to rest: He said he'd be checking Twitter and Facebook to see what people were saying about the food.


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