While living at the epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak, in the daily world of double face masking, social distancing and isolation, the Latinx community is creating a safe and comforting way for people to gather together in the name of Angelino’s favorite food — tacos.
Villas Tacos Pop Up Shop, a family business that started in November 2018, is located in Highland Park section of LA. Victor Villa, who started the company after working as a waiter for multiple restaurants realized he was ready to embark on a journey of his own. Two weeks prior to purchasing his first grill who’s named Maria, he took a leap a faith, quit his job and three years later you have the #1 most talked about taco pop up in the city of Angels.
It’s an intimate experience for taco lovers. Set on a closed off patio in the back of a house, you can bring your taco hunger to Villas Taco’s Pop Up Shop is and drool while watching Victor gather his team of five, all close friends and family, huddle together for quick prayer. Then it’s off to a busy afternoon/evening of making taco’s while Dr. Dre and Eminem thump from speakers in the background.
What’s so special about the food is not only the meal itself, it’s the hospitality where you feel like you’re welcomed and a part of the family. It’s the blue corn tortilla’s they hand make, the savory-flavored meat that is cooked mesquite, and mouth watering secret recipe mango salsa’s and freshly made fruit drinks.
Villa’s Taco’s is one of the most sought after pop up to experience, they even take in orders a week an advance because they sell out so quickly.
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Victor shares what inspired his idea to start his own business “I wanted younger generation’s to see you can build community when you follow your dreams.” When asked about his past on cooking, he revealed, “I never worked in the kitchen, I had to learn.”
There’s a closeness with his team, which is comforting to see. He says, ” Team is a big aspect of Villa’s Taco’s, from beginning to end and who we are. My sister helps me out a lot, she was my first cashier as well as my mom. The love she has contributed to the company.”
The Villas Tacos brand message is, ” We are not some taco stand, we are more, we are community oriented, people love us and if you don’t love us? Here’s some tacos. that does the trick.” He lastly continues, “I like helping people, I like helping my team as much as possible. When that’s your drive, it’s much easier to get things done. That’s what makes me happy at the end of the day. “
When asked about future goals on expanding the famous shop, He says,” For someone like myself all I think about is my future, how can I be better tomorrow than today. I want my food to be the In-N-Out of tacos. Yes, absolutely. We have big plans for the future. When you see the finish line, but you’re not quite there, you are reminded that it might not come today, it might not come tomorrow or even five years but no matter what I’m gonna continue to striving towards that finish line. I wouldn’t be here without my team.”
The rise of millennials creating their own business is at an all-time high, and Latinos culturally are self-starters, and some of the most dedicated, warm hearted, hard working people. We are a generation that is highly focused on making a monumental impact in lives, and becoming the new shift in leadership roles.
You can follow Villas Tacos on IG for updates here, and and stop by their one-of-a-kind pop up taco shop in Highland Park, Los Angeles.
Jessica Velle reports on entertainment, politics, social media and stories relevant to the Latinx community. She can be reached at Jessica@reel360.com.