I'm a little food truck called GUACTRUCK.
Here's a burrito bowl; here is my 'stache.
When the engine's roaring hear me come.
Drive me up and pay some cash.
Vision and Mission
Responsible citizenship starts with awareness. Our vision is to inspire positive social change by instilling conscious and conscientious consumerism through intelligently designed goods and systems. And our mission is to provide fresh, healthful, and quality food through responsible and sustainable practices while highlighting innovative thinking and good design in the Philippines.
If you're interested in our packaging, check out aphinitea.com
Our story starts with two recent university grads who, as many can relate, overpaid for their degrees yet found themselves having difficulty getting offers from jobs they think they want. Settling for a mediocre job for a steady salary wasn't an option as the probability of living in misery was not worth the stability, we thought. So one day, while pondering about life during a cold winter day in Beijing, a stroke of genius came upon us. We told ourselves: "if no one wants to give us an opportunity, we'll just create opportunities for ourselves." And that's when we decided to pursue this venture. We knew it was going to be a challenge as mobile eateries didn't yet exist in the Philippines. And just as expected, rejections came aplenty. But taking "no" for an answer was not what we set out to do. On top of that, we really couldn't think of any valid reason why Guactruck wouldn't be allowed to materialize. So we persisted. Many doubted yet we had an unwavering confidence in our vision. Eventually, our passion and tenacity paid off. Guactruck is now a reality.
As for the idea behind Guactruck, it came to me (Michealle) in the form of a dream. Just kidding! Actually, when I was studying in Los Angeles, I would see people gather in some random alley waiting for Kogi BBQ truck to arrive. The fascinating thing is that when the truck finally comes, they stay in line for hours just to have a piece of the Kogi experience. What's interesting here is waiting and ordering from a food truck has become a social experience, a scene. Not only is it a way to satiate hunger and cravings; more importantly, it's become a cool way to socialize and meet people. This whole new type of experience created by social food trucks is what mainly got me paying attention to food trucks as a business model. One thing, though, I thought that was missing from food trucks in the States is attention to design and aesthetics, as most of them focus more on the culinary aspect. Eating is a sensory activity; therefore design and aesthetics play a role in creating a complete food experience, which ultimately enhances the customer's sense of well-being.
So while studying business design one summer, the idea of marrying my three interests—entrepreneurship, food, and design— started frolicking in my mind. During this time, a slight obsession with burrito bowls from Chipotle and Barburrito and their guacamole, which is where the name Guactruck comes from, took over. I also admired how their system and their layout allow customers to view and have control over what ingredients go into each meal they order. This layout was eventually adapted for Guactruck. Now, the only thing left to do is to actually execute the idea, which proved to be a challenge for both Natassha and I, especially since we had very limited experience prior to this venture. First, we had to look for someone to fabricate our design. Then came scouting for locations to operate in. And as mentioned earlier, we also had to convince people that our business concept would work in the Philippines. Lastly, we had to design a business system that is economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable.
Both of us are educated overseas. And during the time we spent abroad, we often wondered why the Philippines, given its rich reserve of natural resources and its distinctive amalgamation of multiple cultures, is still lacking in international coverage and just generally, missing in the media and publications worldwide— discount reports on calamities and violence—, especially in the areas of design and entrepreneurship. So after university and armed with little experience in the real world, we came back home to actualize our concept of a designer food truck in Manila with the aim of inspiring young entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams, no matter how uncertain the future may seem and to encourage innovation, as well as highlight world-class design in the Philippines. We decided to dabble in this venture because we believe this is the best time for us to try something new, to follow our passions, and to test out our ideas, as we are young enough to have a fresh perspective that has not been tainted by the confines of knowledge and experience. As many aspiring young entrepreneurs may empathize, our society still favors and values corporate experience straight out of university before engaging in a business venture. We wanted to change this preconception and show that the right combination of youth, inexperience, and enthusiasm can pave the way for innovation and progress in society as a whole.
Aside from inspiring young entrepreneurs, we also hope to serve as an example for responsible business ownership. We understand that as business owners, we are accountable for everything that our enterprise creates— may it be food, waste, or packaging. Therefore, we try to make our operations as sustainable as possible; as such, we limit total energy consumption of the truck by using LEDs and energy efficient lighting, upcycled an old delivery truck into a highly designed mobile eatery, utilize a small footprint by maximizing the available space within the 12' x 6.5' delivery truck, and developed a system that encourages customers to return our packaging for recycling.
Paolo Coelho once said that "a child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.” So with regards to youth and freedom of mind, we created a poem about Guactruck, which you can find at the top of this page, that follows the melody of the nursery rhyme "I'm a little tea pot" to remind everyone and ourselves to hold on to our inner child and to take life with a grain of salt... a slice of lime, and a shot of tequila.
We have lots of exciting things planned for Guactruck so keep a look out for new developments. After all, we only live once so we will do whatever idea comes into our minds, no matter how random or outrageous it may seem. The world is only limited by our imagination. =)
Lastly, as mentioned above, we hope that this venture will inspire entrepreneurs especially young people to have the fortitude to take control of their own lives, the humility to renounce dogma and start all over again when life is not what they imagined it to be, and the honesty to recognize and accept what they truly desire. We believe that with vision, passion, perseverance and hard work, anything is possible.
Michealle, E-mail →
Natassha, E-mail →