“It has all the flavor you can imagine for a pork taco. There’s our cilantro garnish with our onions, three types of cheese and our delicious salsas to go with it.
Jones said slow cooking the pork really enhances the flavor, especially when combined with one of their signature salsas.
“We have our chipotle mayonnaise which has a bit of a bite to it. We have our salsa verde which is made with our green tomatillos, cilantro and a whole bunch of other secret ingredients. And finally, for sweet salsa lovers, we have our mango salsa.
All of their tacos, except for their fish taco, are 100% gluten-free.
When it comes to finding the perfect combination of ingredients for his specialty salsas, he said it was all about trial and error.
“You can put any protein on a taco, but if you don’t have the right blend of condiments to complement it, your flavor isn’t as enhanced as it should be.”
A self-proclaimed foodie, Jones has been cooking since the age of seven and spent most of his career as an operations manager for the 7-11 and Tim Horton franchises before going into semi-retirement and starting Tacomania.
Tacomania is very active on social media, using it not only to promote where they’re going to be that day, but also to solicit ideas from customers, which led Jones to make some small changes to at least one of their dishes to take it to the next level.
“My good friend pulled me aside one day and said, ‘Have you ever thought of putting a local barbecue sauce with your pork before mixing it with your macaroni and cheese to give it more of a barbecue flavor? ?’ Since that day we have made our pulled pork mac and cheese with bbq sauce.
Jones has been running Tacomania for just over three years now.
They have two trucks, one of which is set up daily outside Lowe’s in downtown Nanaimo North, while you can find their other truck parked around Maffeo Sutton Park, when not used for private events.
Operating a food truck also comes with its own unique challenges, like trying to operate a kitchen and the front of a restaurant in a very small area.
He said it was about staying on top of the basics.
“If you don’t like cutting vegetables, if you don’t like shopping, if you don’t like washing dishes, if you don’t like constantly having something to do, this is not the good job for you.”
Tacomaina’s theme is obviously heavily influenced by wrestler Hulk Hogan and the Mexican lucha libre style, but Jones said they migrated to the wrestling theme from an original sombrero-based look because it seemed be the right solution.
He credits many local businesses for helping him design and build their trucks.
“A lot of local talent entered our two vehicles and I’m proud to say we didn’t have to go anywhere else. Just by word of mouth, through social media, we’ve had people stepping up and really helping us build this brand.
Jones would eventually like to add more vehicles to his fleet as needed. They are also working on desserts, including adding churros to their menu.
Jones is also very proud to be able to work with his two daughters who help run the two food trucks.
“I feel very lucky at this point in my life to be running a business and being able to work with my two daughters as well. Few guys my age have the ability to work with their kids, and there’s something of a bit special about it.
Tacomania is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the North Town Center. During the summer months they will be open until 4 p.m.
They are not currently associated with any third-party delivery apps, as Jones wants to ensure that their product is always consumed at the perfect temperature and quality, which can be lost during the delivery process.
For more information, including where their second food truck is that day, you can head to their website or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.
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