Have you seen that tall, lime green “tacos” banner flying in the wind next to a brilliantly white, new food truck? The name, “Teresa’s Kitchen” is printed across the side with a shadow of a monarch butterfly. More than a decade ago, Maria Teresa Hernandez began sharing her recipes with the community. She would wake up at 4:30 a.m. to make fresh tamales delivered hot to customers in the early afternoon during their lunch break. “12 years [ago], I started making tamales and delivering them,” said Maria Teresa. “When COVID hit, I had to do something because I used to sell to offices and restaurants, but they were all closed.” On May 26 she opened her food truck for business.
While the evolution of her business from delivery to a food truck was hard work, the decision for her brand as the Monarch butterfly symbolizing growth with both beauty and grace and the chance for transformation was easy. “The butterflies are an immigrant from Mexico, and I’m an immigrant too,” said Maria Teresa. At 12-years-old, Maria Teresa moved away from her family to work in Mexico City, where she was first inspired to become a chef. “My parents were very poor and they sent me out to work,” she said. “I was working in a house cleaning and I would always watch the lady there and how she cooked, and she was really an amazing cook.” Now, with her family by her side, Maria Teresa is sharing her signature dishes of tamales, elotes, tortas, tacos, and more with our region. “I like to cook. I’ve been cooking for all my life. It’s my passion, and it makes me happy when I feed people,” said Maria Teresa.
Throughout the year, Teresa’s Kitchen is available at local food truck events, through catering, and on-site at the family home when not scheduled for events. This Saturday, Maria Teresa and her family will be serving up her recipes to the Battle Creek community at Harley Davidson.