Alicia Nobles sells authentic, traditional, Mexican fast-food at her restaurant Taqueria La Fuente in the Plaza Vigil. Mrs. Nobles and her husband started in the food business by running Catering Trucks that moved from place to place, offering small tacos and other authentic Mexican food. They started the Catering Truck business in Los Angeles when they first moved from Tijuana, México in 1980. When they came to visit Watsonville they noticed that none of the local restaurants sold small tacos and other traditional Mexican fast-food. They decided to move to Watsonville and started out by serving food to the farmworkers and other community members in downtown Watsonville from the Catering Truck.
Although the Catering Truck business was good, it did not give a steady year-round income. Mrs. Nobles and her husband looked around to find a permanent site for their restaurant. They found a location on Maple Street in Watsonville, sold the Catering Truck, and were able to serve customers more steadily in a restaurant location. However, the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 destroyed their restaurant site. “We had to start all over again,” Mrs. Nobles said. They bought another Catering Truck and continued to serve food to farmworkers.
Mrs. Nobles and her husband first heard about the chance to open a restaurant at Plaza Vigil when the farmers market was meeting on the Plaza Vigil location in 1996. She inquired about starting the restaurant, filled out the application, and was accepted. “My life changed a lot after opening the restaurant at Plaza Vigil,” Mrs. Nobles said. “We opened in September, sold the Catering Truck in December, and dedicated all the time to the business. We had a lot more work and a lot more customers.”
Mrs. Nobles has run the Taqueria La Fuentes for the past three years by herself and she says it is going well. Although she had a lot of experience with the Catering Truck and the restaurant Mrs. Nobles says that she has learned a lot from the El Pájaro CDC workshops and consultants about how to run a business. “Back at the time when we opened our restaurant at Plaza Vigil El Pájaro CDC gave me classes on how to start the business, and I learned about all the responsibilities if we had employees and about getting a loan,” she said. Recently she has learned more about financial management and marketing her food products. She is planning on expanding her menu to include more items, especially vegetarian items. “I like doing everything from cooking the food to serving the clients,” Mrs. Nobles said, “I love to make my clients feel good and I want them to eat good food.”
Taqueria La Fuente @ Plaza Vigil 23 E. Beach Street, Watsonville