Local food truck owner supports family and shares culture through her craft


Laura Martinez (right) and sister Dulce Martinez (left) prepare food for an order. Laura Martinez owns a taco food truck with her husband and has used her business as a means to support not only herself but her family as well.

Mary Smith

Early mornings, late nights, long days, close quarters and time spent working with family are some of the ingredients it takes to make the authentic Mexican food served at El Taco Loco six days a week. Owner Laura Martinez’s dedication to serving the best and most fresh Mexican tacos, gorditas, burritos and more compares only to her devotion to her family.

Since El Taco Loco opened in 2011 only members of Martinez’s family have worked there, with the exception being another woman at one point, according to Martinez’s younger sister Dulce Martinez.

“We have a lot of family, eight sisters and five brothers and a lot of cousins so everybody helps,” Martinez said.

Contrary to the common belief that it’s bad to work with family, Martinez’s extended family has enjoyed working together and some feel that it’s even brought them closer.

“[Me and Dulce] were close before I started working here but once I started working we became closer,” cousin Daisy Deloera said. She only works with Dulce and since moving to Stillwater for college makes a point to come back a few days a week to work at El Taco Loco and spend time with her cousin and other family.

Dulce loves working with family because the relationships that are already established improve communication in the workplace, especially in high stress situations.

“If you’re uncomfortable with something you can tell the other person straight up [because they] won’t take it the wrong way [since] you know each other and you know how everybody else is,” she said.

The profits she’s been able to make from El Taco Loco has given Martinez and her husband self-sufficiency and independence, something they both have been generous in giving back to their own families, according to Dulce.

“I want to give something for my sons and daughters and that brings my family, everybody together to make something,” Martinez said.