Tucked in a pocket off Third Avenue Algo Bueno is serving more than food in Chula Vista. A family-owned Latin fusion food truck with a passion for community involvement opened its doors and its heart.
Co-founders Rodrigo Rodriguez and Silvia Loya uprooted their business to Chula Vista in July and attained a parklet permit to make 353 Church Avenue their home. The couple cultivates a “family friendly environment” and welcomes people of all ages to experience international flavors drawn from their travels.
“I’m born and raised here, but I tell people that we are Chicanos with passports. We are fortunate to step out of the norm. We do other people’s food our way,” Rodriguez said.
The couple had students from the Chula Vista Learning Community Charter Middle School (CVLCCMS) last month to paint a mural representing "Algo Bueno" (something good) in the community.
“We do stuff from the heart. We are being sincere to our community. We don't do it for recognition,” Rodriguez added.
They plan to continue working with CVLCCMS by providing spaces for youth to paint. An upcoming mural project details students to paint over the brick wall that is exposed after the establishment packs up for the day.
Rodriguez shared the desire to create an inclusive environment by hosting community members at their outdoor space. Senior residents from the nearby Chula Vista Congregational Tower regularly lounge in the outdoor seating area for fresh air.
“I love cooking. I love feeding people. You come to my home and this is what I do. I like to cater to people and that is how it started. My husband saw the passion in me,” Loya said.
He attended college in the south which inspired flavors and ingredients that are found in menu options such as their “EL Cubano'' sandwich made with non-traditional ingredients like pulled pork, salami and prosciutto. The business is also known for their “La Polla Arepa” which was inspired by Rodriguez’s experience living in Colombia.
“Our food is just a different palate I would say. Some would say we are ahead of people’s palates. We try to stick to what's good to ensure freshness. We are more about quality over quantity,” Rodriguez said. “The food we cook here is essentially our home kitchen.”
Their origin story stems from love. He shared that in his humble effort to “woo” his wife Silvia through cooking, she would “step it up a notch” and make her version of Rodrigo’s food.
“That is why our logo is a guy and a girl. She’s the colorful one and I’m the one in black and white. She keeps everything together,” Rodriguez said.
They plan to begin an "Algo Bueno Mercado Zona Libre”, a free zone market that would offer affordable alternatives for vendors other than being on the street.
“We are trying to be positive and community oriented,” Rodriguez said.