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Street Taqueria & Cafe: Mexican food and more

Street Taqueria & Cafe: Mexican food and more

To some, the pandemic might have a negative impact on their life, but this married couple had a turn of events when they created Street Taqueria and Cafe at the height of the pandemic. This cafe located in the small town of Baao, Camarines Sur offers Mexican food and a whole lot more! Village Pipol Magazine was fortunate enough to interview one of the founders of the cafe, Ms. RV Botor.

Know more about the story of Street Taqueria and Cafe

The Humble Beginnings

It all started during the pandemic. The married couple, RV and Mel Botor joined the bandwagon craze of cooking food and selling it online. Since his husband loves cooking and they have nothing else to do at that time, they would prepare a meal and then RV would take a picture of it and upload it online. 

When their kid was turning one year old, RV wanted her daughter to experience something different since it was in the middle of a pandemic. They had a drive-by party where they invited friends to drive by their house and they will just give them takeaway food. They served typical party food along with nachos and tacos.

After that, everyone was encouraging the couple to start a food business. So they took the opportunity to do it since they have nothing else to do anyway. It was just RV, his husband Mel, and their 1-year-old daughter at the beginning of the business, and it was just home-based.

From two people, they expanded to 15 individuals working in the cafe, and then now they were only 12 people in the team. Most of them are still students. And honestly, RV shared that hiring students was not easy since they change their schedules most of the time. But they continued since it was also a way of helping them.

Getting to know more about the people behind Street Taqueria and Cafe

Street Taqueria and Cafe is owned and managed by the couple RV and Mel Botor, both from Baao. It’s a family business and they are both hands-on in the cafe. Mel handles the kitchen operations while RV manages the frontline operations like working with interviews, marketing, PR, and just the overall operations of the cafe.

Photo: Erika Faye Breboneria & Street Taqueria and Cafe | Graphic: Erika Faye Breboneria

Prior to the creation of Street Taqueria and Cafe, RV mentioned that this kind of business idea was already in their mind when she got married to Mel. And even before, the couple has been traveling to places like La Union and Siargao. RV would tell herself and her husband that she also wanted something like the cafes in these places somewhere in the future. 

The Reason and Inspiration behind Street Taqueria and Cafe

RV studied Development Communication in Ateneo and one of her instructors in her PR or Marketing class mentioned that any business names that start with S and T are effective marketing names for a business. So randomly she came up with Street Taqueria since it also starts with the letters S and T.

Through the encouragement of their friends from the drive-by party, they were able to turn their dreams into reality, hence the birth of their business; Street Taqueria and Cafe.

The Menu: RV’s Favorites and the Best-sellers

Street Taqueria offers the usual cafe menu but they have Mexican specialties like Burrito, Nachos, Tacos, Birria, and Quesadillas. One of their best-sellers includes their Mexican specialties. If you don’t like Mexican food then don’t worry because they have other menu selections as well. They also serve chicken tenders, fries, and definitely a whole lot more!

Aside from that, they also serve coffee and Aguafrescas. For drinks, their best-seller is their freshly squeezed juice or their Aguafrescas. Since their main target market is the working class, and most adults prefer fresh juice, Aguafrescas is one of the most ordered drinks from their selection.

Eventually, they cater to Gen Z and students when these younger generations realized that Street Taqueria and Cafe is a cool and nice place to hang out with their friends.

Why Mexican food?

Before they moved back to Bicol, they lived in Manila for 12 years. Their friends would go and stay in their pad and then Mexican food was the only available option in their fridge, so they would serve it to their friends whenever they had a sleepover.

Until then, they thought why not offer Mexican food in their cafe? Because aside from being their comfort food, RV also wanted the idea of people going into their cafe for a specific specialty.

Their struggles in running a business

“In the beginning, the struggle was sourcing the ingredients”

Since the herbs and spices for Mexican food are different, they had a hard time looking for the right suppliers for the ingredients. But now they met up with a good and reliable supplier. Another thing they struggled with was the legal matters of the business.

Since the couple had no background in business, they also didn’t have any idea about the legal documents or the papers needed to run the business. So they had to hire an accountant and bookkeeper to handle it.

Lookback: The Best Memories they have in their business

For almost three years in the business, RV shared that moving into the new location was one of the best things that happened to them. Originally they only had deliveries before, but now after they moved into the new location, they cater to dine-in customers as well.

At first, they were only renting a small portion of the area, but when they realized that people were coming to their business and cars were lining up outside, they had to rent the other half of the space.

Another thing was when they were featured in GMA, one of the leading TV networks in the Philippines. Aside from that, they had an interview with Chambers. Lastly, they started a community in Baao. Around late last year, many creatives were reaching out to them and pitching events where they want to borrow the space of the cafe. 

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The couple really loved watching gigs so being able to cater to exhibits and musical gigs feels very special to them.

“It’s a good thing that we get to support them with our cafe.”

Advice and Plans for the business

“I think it always starts with passion”

RV shared that when handling a business, you have to be very hands-on with the operations. In the first three years, you still need to build the character and the reputation of the business.

“Never get discouraged with negative thoughts”

Also, if ever you hear discouragements, particularly from the elderly, remind yourself that they don’t really mean it. You just need to push through with your gut, RV said. Furthermore, if you really have that passion, then just continue to do it. Because along the way, you will eventually get along with it.

“You have to keep on studying that certain business.”

Also, you have to continue developing for the betterment of your business. Because it doesn’t stop when you feel like your business works well already. There are also times when you need to be overly creative for you to succeed, RV added.

Ultimately, RV dreams to put up Street Taqueria on the beachside. As mentioned, the couple really loved traveling. And she wanted a cafe in Zambales, La Union, or Siargao. Although they can’t achieve it yet since the thoughts of branching out can be quite overwhelming and confusing. But, RV hopes for the best.

If you want to visit Street Taqueria and Cafe, check them out on Facebook or Instagram.

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