MIAMI – Nancy Hernandez and Arturo Tamayo’s food truck sells more than made-to-order batidos, smoothies made with fresh fruit and shaved ice. It also sells fresh produce, dried beans, crackers, tomato sauce, cooking wine and evaporated milk—essentials to the Latin American clientele, the Miami Herald reports. “You have to carry a little bit of everything,” Tamayo said.
For the past nine years, Tamayo has stocked the truck in the early hours of the morning and started his rounds at 9:00 am, stopping by homebound customers and senior daycare facilities. Payments come in cash, credit cards and food stamps. “I’m a very independent person, but if I had to go out in this heat?” said 82-year-old Iraida Arias, one hot morning.
“This is such a typical Cuban thing,” said Carlos Salman, co-owner of Mojitos Cuban Cuisine, of the truck that parks near his restaurant for a couple of hours each day. “We grew up with this in Little Havana, looking forward to the viandero coming every week. It’s a staple in the Cuban community. They work hard. You have to support them. Plus, they have great products.”
“You always have to look out for the next opportunity,” Tamayo said. “This is the country of opportunities.”