Local woman opens up about struggles of starting a small business


Julyana Sanchez

Local business woman talks about the challenges she faced when opening her business seven and a half years ago after deciding she wanted to be her own boss.

Laura Martinez, owner of El Taco Loco food truck decided to open her own business roughly eight years ago after working multiple dead end jobs.

“Working as a waitress just didn’t give me the flexibility I needed when I was raising my son, and my husband and I just really wanted to do something on our own,” said Laura.

Laura and her husband were looking to bring something fresh to Norman back in 2005, “We wanted to start off small. We were inspired when we visited California and saw all the food trucks there and we thought there are only a few here and there in the area, mostly Oklahoma City, but none in Norman.”

Four years later, they took a leap of faith and opened El Taco Loco. “Everything about opening a business was difficult,” said Martinez, “I felt disadvantaged from the beginning because of the language barrier.”

Martinez initially had an English speaking friend who helped her obtain all the necessary permits, “we put it (the food truck) under her name, she helped us with everything, all we did was give the money.”

But, Martinez is just one of the many Hispanic small business owners in Oklahoma, which has seen a 90.9% increase from 2007 through 2012, according to Survey of Business Owners for Oklahoma, released in December 2015.

“Though there were challenges, I have persevered through them for two reasons, I want my kids to have bright future, and this is something I am very proud of.”