ScaleUp Success: Lisa Gutierrez of Dos Hermanos Taco Truck

In recent years the explosion of gourmet mobile food trucks has greatly complemented the diverse and high-quality food scene in Columbus. One such mobile addition is Dos Hermanos Taco Truck. The eatery has been serving authentic Mexican food with family recipes from Oaxaca, a state in southern Mexico.

Owners Vincente and Lisa Gutierrez met while working together at a local restaurant. It wasn’t long before they combined not only their homes, but their talent and love for food to open Dos Hermanos Taco Truck in 2012.

“My husband had the idea for a food truck,” Lisa Gutierrez says. “Our friends who unsuccessfully attempted a food truck business offered us their truck so we could try and make a go of our own food business. The chance to start our business without the added cost of purchasing a truck minimized the risk.”

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Lisa Gutierrez

Dos Hermanos Taco Truck is known for its Oaxacan-style tamales wrapped in a banana leaf versus the traditional corn husk.

“It’s the banana leaf that infuses unique flavors and creates a more moist and tasty tamale,” Gutierrez says.

Of course, another favorite are their tacos. Both the tamales and tacos are made from authentic recipes handed down from Vincente’s grandmother and mother.

When Dos Hermanos initially opened in 2012, they were stationery until Jim Ellison with ECDI’s Food Fort encouraged them to become mobile. By launching into the mobile food scene and using social media, Dos Hermanos Taco Truck quickly gained popularity with Central Ohio foodies. This move also opened doors for new revenue streams. Dos Hermanos Taco Truck moved into catering events that led to food carts at the OSU Medical Center, followed by concessions opportunities at the OSU Stadium for the Buckeye football games, the Schottenstein Center for men’s basketball and Mapfre Stadium (formerly Columbus Crew Stadium).

As business increased, Gutierrez says, “Dos Hermanos had grown 30 percent. The growth was great, but I didn’t know how to continue to scale up effectively. While I had been in the restaurant business for years, starting a restaurant from the ground up is different. I educated myself on how to run a new business by running Dos Hermanos, but I needed more information.”

Gutierrez applied to the 2015 Entrepreneur Exchange Program, funded by the SBA ScaleUp America initiative.

Through the program, Gutierrez gained the tools to grow strategically and the assistance she needed to understand her financials.

DosHermanos280“I didn’t fully understand them,” Gutierrez says. “The Entrepreneur Exchange program CPA, Betty Collins, put the financials into perspective. She helped me understand the new small business tax breaks and increased my communications with my bookkeeper.”

Also, Gutierrez was highly encouraged by the on-going peer support, collaboration and the opportunity to see how other business owners overcame challenges and took advantage of great wins.

Dos Hermanos has since received two big wins of its own. In fall 2015, Dos Hermanos will be a food vendor at the coveted North Market. If you like to catch them on the go, you can also find them at the 2015 Crew season at one of their two concession stands or at their Dos Hermanos Taco Truck located on the stadium plaza.

For more information about Dos Hermanos Taco Truck, visit facebook.com/DosHermanosTacoTruck.

To take the next step in scaling up your business, visit YourManagementTeam.com/EE to apply and learn more about the Entrepreneur Exchange Program.

The Entrepreneur Exchange™ Program is a nine-month program fully funded by the Small Business Administration’s ScaleUp America initiative. Any Ohio small business with $150,000 – $750,000 in gross revenues and at least two years in business can apply. However, each year only 30 Ohio small business owners are selected.

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