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$6,376 pledged of $34,000 goal
backers
By Manny Hernandez
$6,376 pledged of $34,000 goal
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About this project

Our Goal

After being on the road for more than two years running a successful food truck named the Tamalespaceship, it is time for us - Manny Hernandez and Pepe Balanzar - to have a place to permanently land and call home. After working at Frontera Grill, we have seen first-hand how to run a successful restaurant and want to open a restaurant where we can showcase, on a bigger scale, our love for authentic Mexican cuisine. At our restaurant, you will be able to enjoy a variety of traditional and flavorful dishes in a friendly and fun atmosphere surrounded by Lucha Libre décor. With your help, we will be able to purchase part of the restaurant equipment and point-of-sale systems necessary to fulfill our dream.

Why Pilsen?

The historic neighborhood of Pilsen hasbeen home to many generations of Mexicans and Mexican Americans. The neighborhood itself features traditional Mexican restaurants, tortillerias and museums with beautiful murals that depict the Mexican way of life. It is also one of the most important commercial areas in Chicago and an ideal place for the Tamalespaceship to explore new worlds (to open our restaurant).  Pilsen is a neighborhood destined to rise. Tamalli Space Charros LLC, formed in the spring of 2010, would be a perfect addition to the Pilsen landscape. With your help, we can finally fulfill our dream of having a restaurant of our own, in a place that is ripe for new neighborhood adventures.

The beginning of Tamalespaceship

We met while working at Frontera Grill in 2000. At Frontera, we were exposed to quality food. We worked in various positions and developed skills in restaurant management, menu design, and food and drink pairings, etc.  We also learned how to manage the front and back of the house. In 2008, Manny moved from Frontera Grill and opened multiple restaurants.  Manny became a general manager for a local restaurant company. In 2010, both of us found ourselves without jobs because of the economic downturn.  Left with limited options, we decided to pursue our long-time dream of opening our own restaurant even though we knew the economic environment was not in our favor. We both knew it wasn’t going to be easy to open a restaurant, especially with limited capital.  So, the idea for opening a food truck was born. 

The New Adventure

Tamalli Space Charros LLC was formed in the spring of 2010.  We decided to start slowly, first preparing food to order and participating in Chicago street festivals. We wanted to build capital to purchase a 1978 truck and equip it with restaurant equipment. We built our truck as an operational vending truck in accordance with City of Chicago ordinances. While growing up - Manny in Mexico City and Pepe in Acapulco – we regularly attended the Lucha Libre, a name used in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries to describe a form of professional wrestling and became big fans of the wrestling sport. The largesse and the showmanship of the wrestlers always portrayed the athletes as superheroes. Sundays were always fun. You’d root for a wrestler at the arena, and on the way home, you would be able to celebrate in your hero’s victory. Pepe who was always fascinated by the masks worn by the Mexican wrestlers was also an avid mask collector.  It was Pepe’s idea to incorporate another piece of Mexican culture to our business by showing how important the Lucha Libre is as a Mexican pastime and our culture. With all this in mind, it made sense to name our Truck The Tamalespaceship.  

By January 2011, despite being one of the worst times in the restaurant industry to open a business, the Tamalespaceship food truck was set to run the streets of Chicago. It didn’t take long for our truck to be noticed by local food critics and Chicago foodies aficionados. Many people who came across the Tamalespaceship were fascinated by the whole concept – the truck theme, the menu, the food.

 Our Mission

From day one, our mission has always been to represent the authenticity of our culture, Mexican cuisine, and the rich, robust flavors of a variety of dishes. We only use the best ingredients for our foods, and when available, shop at local farmers markets.  We make everything from scratch – the moles, sauces, meat marinades, tamale fillings, and even the tamales themselves are handmade.  To prepare these things from scratch ensures the quality of our food and the taste we strive for everyday. We started with tamales not only because they are a staple in traditional Mexican cuisine, but also because they are the best way to feature all the flavors of a regional cuisine. The picturesque tamales resemble the traditional Yucatecan dish known as Cochinita Pibil  and feature all the traditional flavors from the achiote-marinated pork, tomato-habanero sauce, and the purple pickled onions. Our Complicate Tamales features traditional steak with traditional Oaxacan black mole, probably the most popular sauce from the estate of Oaxaca.

Risks and challenges

The challenges could be construction set backs and inspections delays etc. However, we are an existing catering / food truck company and we will be able to honor all of the rewards as planned.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A shout out on our facebook & Twitter page plus our very unique Tamalespaceship Magnet

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Lunch at The Tamalespaceship Food truck. Your name and picture taken with the Masked Luchador feature on our Facebook & Twitter page

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    16 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Personal invitation to the store grand opening

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    10 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    BYOB Tamales Cooking Class- Learn how to make Guacamole & tamales from scratch. Including dinner!

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    15 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Lunch for your office!! Let us deliver our famous Guacamole & Chips and assortment of delicious tamales directly to your office by our Little Luchador!!
    (Enough for 8 People)

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    3 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Experience a Lunch run on our Food truck as a street vendor wearing your very own Lucha Libre mask!

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    Limited 1 backer
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Multy course dinner for 4 people at the restaurant. 'Let us take you in a culinary journey from street food to traditional reginal dishes

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Hands on cooking class at your own home for you and 5 of your friends learn how to make Guacamole and Tamales from scratch as you cook your own dinner!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Have the Tamalespaceship food truck pull in your front/back yard and cater you gathering this summer (Up to 20 people)

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    1 backer
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Enjoy a Tamal cooking class dinner with 9 of your favorite people, a lifetime experience!!

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Experience a full catering event for 20 people at the comfort of your home (Chicagoland Only) served by our very own masked crew

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $6,000 or more About $6,000

    Let us do the cooking for your private party for 120 people at your preferred location (Chicagoland and suburbs only) personally served by our very own masked crew

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Funding period

- (45 days)