The taco truck that helped bring a food-truck renaissance to Winnipeg is wheeling away.
El Torrito Taco Truck, which was started by North Kildonan resident Jorge Torres in 2011, is set to sling its last tacos and chorizo dogs on Aug. 23. Torres, 23, is selling the truck as he prepares to complete his religious studies education at Canadian University College in Edmonton.
Torres is in line to become a prison chaplain, and he will complete his six-week practicum, which could send him anywhere in the country, next summer. After he graduates the program in 2015, he hopes to take the master’s program at Loma Linda University in California. When he is ready to serve at a prison, he could again be assigned anywhere in Canada.
"Business is my hobby, but counselling and helping people is my calling," said Torres, who hopes to complete a mission trip next summer. "I want to free up my summer next year to get used to my last year of university and get ready for the transition of being a grown-up."
Torres notified the public the truck was for sale through a pair of Kijiji ads posted on July 28. One advertised just the truck for sale, while the other includes the business. Torres is more inclined to sell the truck only, as he is considering opening a restaurant down the line once he settles into his career.
Over a dozen new food trucks featuring cuisine ranging from sandwiches to wings to Filipino delicacies have popped up since El Torrito first began cruising Winnipeg’s streets two summers ago. It has since been named the top food truck in Winnipeg the last two years.
Torres said there were some doubters when he decided to set up for supper in North Kildonan, but his friends and neighbours helped prove the naysayers wrong.
"Henderson was nice because a lot of people take their families there," Torres said. "They’re not just our customers – these are people that we have on Facebook that we talk to, and on Twitter that we talk to.
"I know them by name."
The truck will appear near the corner of Henderson Highway and McLeod Avenue for dinner for the last time on Aug. 22 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., and will serve its last meals from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of the Manitoba Hydro offices at 360 Portage Ave. on Aug. 23.
He wishes members of the city’s current food-truck community well, and has advice for those with dreams pulling on their heartstrings.
"If something’s been on your mind for more than six months, take a chance," Torres said. "You could be the next big thing."