Metal Gourmet, maker of high-end mobile food carts and trailers, donates steamer cart to Alicia Villanueva to support the launch of her business, "Alicia's Tamales Los Mayas"
San Jose, Calif., Sept. 13, 2011 – Metal Gourmet, Inc., a San Jose-based builder of mobile food carts and trailers, helped make a tamale-maker's dream come true when it donated a custom mobile food cart to Alicia Villanueva.
"We are very excited to see Alicia launch her business," said Jeff Burke, CEO and president of Metal Gourmet. "We appreciate the difficulties of establishing a mobile food business, especially for someone with limited resources, and we see this donation as removing one large obstacle standing between Alicia and her dream."
Villanueva had been making tamales for friends and families her whole life when she decided it was time to turn her passion into a business. The mother of three sometimes sold tamales door to door, but she dreamed of having her own tamale cart. With the assistance of La Cocina, a nonprofit incubator and kitchen that helps low-income immigrant women start and grow food businesses, Villanueva developed a business plan and obtained permits to sell at San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza and Off the Grid.
She was trying to raise money to buy "a great looking tamale cart" when Metal Gourmet stepped in. They had learned about Villanueva from La Cocina, and invited her to visit their San Jose facility to see the steamer cart they had in mind for her.
"It was love at first sight;" said Burke. "She loved the cart, and was so appreciative she started hugging everybody; I think she even hugged the cart."
The cart, pure white when she towed it home in July, was emblazoned with the Alicia's Tamales Los Mayas logo in August when she catered the Metal Gourmet-sponsored luncheon at the National Street Food Conference in San Francisco. The slogan on the back of the cart reads: "My tamales are stuffed with love and the best people are stuffed with my tamales."
"I am very proud of my gourmet metal carrito," Villanueva wrote in a letter to Metal Gourmet. "For me, my carrito is very cute, short, nice, and most importantly, very practical. I just love it."
Villanueva will open "Alicia's Tamales Los Mayas" in Justin Herman Plaza in September. Thereafter, she will be found there daily, sharing the food of her native Mazatlan with the people of San Francisco. For more information, visit www.aliciatamaleslosmayas.com.
About Metal Gourmet
Founded in 2011 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Airtronics Metal Products, Metal Gourmet™ designs, builds and distributes mobile food carts and trailers for the mobile food industry. Metal Gourmet carts and trailers are compliant with California health code and feature NSF-approved components. Metal Gourmet trailers are manufactured by Airtronics, a licensed trailer manufacturer. For more information, visit www.metalgourmet.com.
About La Cocina
La Cocina is a non-profit food business incubator that provides affordable commercial kitchen space and technical assistance to low-income and immigrant entrepreneurs who are starting, launching or growing food businesses. La Cocina creates avenues for economic self-sufficiency through food businesses and places a priority on women-owned and immigrant-owned businesses. For more information, visit www.lacocinasf.org.