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Exploring Life & Business with Victoria Guerra of Puras Papas Food Truck

Today we’d like to introduce you to Victoria Guerra. 

Hi Victoria, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My mom and most of my family worked / still works in the food industry, in fact, my first job was at a breakfast restaurant where I was a hostess and eventually a waitress. My mom has not worked since I was a teenager which made life slightly complicated, however, I was able to attend college and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Finance. I had always encouraged my mom to sell her homemade food because of how delicious it is (of course I am biased). She sold food seasonally and I always helped her by posting on social media and offering to my friends and their families. We would even go door-knocking selling Empanadas and Tamales! This ended when I was in college and working full-time. 

When the pandemic hit, my uncle – her brother – opened a food truck and saw huge success! He has been incredibly successful that now, about two years later, he owns four food trucks! My aunt and uncle offered to rent one out to me and I said yes! Then I had to decide what kind of food we wanted to sell… 

My mom’s side of the family is from a city called Zihuatanejo in Guerrero, Mexico – you may have heard of it in the movie Shawshank Redemption. Anyway, one of my favorite restaurants there sells loaded baked potatoes with different types of meats. When we were thinking of what we could sell – this came to mind immediately. I was excited to build this as there is nothing really like it in the area! 

I am still working a day job so my mom handles everything while I am at work with the help of a long-time family friend. We have been open for about a month now and are super excited to see how we are able to grow. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has definitely not been a smooth road. Although we had some help from my aunt and uncle, we still had a lot to figure out on our own. I am a big numbers person – so tracking everything is something that is important to me, so showing my mom how I wanted things was a bit difficult. The main struggle we faced was the marketing side of it. As I mentioned, I am more of a numbers person and don’t have the most creative mind or eye. As I was building the logo, name, marketing materials, and social media sites, I recruited many of my friends and constantly asked for opinions. They were all extremely supportive luckily and we were able to get where we are. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Puras Papas Food Truck?
Puras Papas translates to “Pure Potatoes.” We chose this because our specialty is a Loaded Baked Potato. The idea came from a restaurant that is in my mom’s hometown of Zihuatanejo, Guerrero. We have a few dishes that include potatoes but the Loaded Baked Potato also known as the “Papa Loca” is what we want to become known for. We also offer fried potato tacos, fries, burritos, quesadillas, and a few other Mexican plates. I would say that being potato-based makes us different since it isn’t as common as seeing a seafood joint, or JUST a taco place – which is usually what you think of when you think of Mexican Food. I am definitely most proud of having brought this idea to life in general and getting such positive feedback from the people who have never even had a loaded baked potato. My family knew where the idea came from and had some expectations so to see our clients enjoy a food that I usually only have in Mexico was really exciting. The Food Truck Community along with the Small Business community in San Marcos – San Diego is just so amazing. I am just so thankful for this community and for any readers out there nearby, passing through, or just wanting to try something new, you should definitely come and try our “Papa Loca.” We can also cater private events as well as attend public events! 

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
Optimism is probably one of the most important if not the most important quality that will lead us to success. As a new and small business, we have to remember that every day will be different and some days will be better than others. We are new and the slow days are just a part of the business, but we are always thinking glass half full. 

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