Richmond resident launches food truck after COVID-19 layoff

Richmond resident launches food truck after COVID-19 layoff
Red Rooster Taco Truck (Photo credit: Ely Flores)

By Mike Kinney

In about eight years, Richmond resident Ely Flores worked his way up in the Bay Area restaurant industry from a dishwasher to the second in command of the kitchen in an upscale San Francisco restaurant. But like many in his industry, the promising 25-year-old chef was laid off amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flores saw it as an opportunity. While he enjoyed working in fine dining, “I was really tired of working for other people,” he said.

And so Flores and a business partner have launched Red Rooster Taco Truck, which opened Tuesday next to the Yes Auto Center at 4325 Macdonald Ave., near the Target Store in Richmond.

“I sell Mexican street food. But I also sell the typical taco truck food,” Flores said.

The truck promises modest prices for food prepared by someone who knows what he’s doing — tacos for $ 2.50, tortas for $ 7, burritos for $9.50, quesadillas for $6 and agua chili for $8.

With this business, Flores aims to continue his ascendant journey in the food industry.

“I was a dishwasher, then worked my up to food preparation and then became a line cook at the Wayfare Tavern,” Flores said, referring to an upscale restaurant in San Francisco.

Flores was working as a sous chef at Cala in San Francisco, a highly-regarded Mexican eatery, when the pandemic forced him out of work. He has lived in Richmond for 17 years and feels there is a real need for more quality food trucks in Richmond.

When he’s not working, Flores says he enjoys stopping by La Rosa de Jalisco truck at 22nd Street and MacDonald Avenue for a bite and shops at Marshalls and Target. The Red Rooster Taco Truck is open on Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m.