Mariscos Don Monchis spotlight

Elizabeth+Lopez%E2%80%99s+grandpa%2C+Ramon+%E2%80%9CMonchis%E2%80%9D+Lopez%2C+standing+in+front+of+the+food+truck+that+is+honored+in+his+name.+

Silas Bravo

Elizabeth Lopez’s grandpa, Ramon “Monchis” Lopez, standing in front of the food truck that is honored in his name.

Silas Bravo, Arts and Entertainment Editor

A 20-year-old starting their own food truck is not something that people see everyday. Despite Elizabeth Lopez being part of a minority, her food truck named “Mariscos Don Monchis” continues to thrive almost a year later [after opening].

Located at 7331 Rosecrans Avenue in the city of Paramount, Mariscos Don Monchis serves all types of seafood and- of course- mariscos.

“One day I was craving aguachiles so my boyfriend and I decided to make them,” said Lopez. “We started making them every Saturday and thought to ourselves, ‘what if we started selling them?’”

From then, Lopez, now 21-years-old, and her family began to sell from her house for about a year before they started the food truck process.

Lopez put a deposit down for her truck in Oct. 2020 and finally received the physical truck in Aug. 2021. After an immense amount of paperwork and permits, Mariscos Don Monchis on had its debut on Oct. 28, 2021.

“Business has been going really good. Better than expected, thank God,” said Lopez.

Despite a steady and successful business for the young truck owner, Lopez stated that there are still many difficulties that come with running a food truck.

“All of this is new to my family and I so we are still learning as we go. I had to really learn how to manage work life with personal life. There were a lot of sacrifices I needed to make,” said Lopez. “Paperwork and cruching numbers are also really difficult.”

The meaning behind the name ‘Mariscos Don Monchis’ is actually from Lopez’s grandpa, Ramon Lopez, whose nickname is ‘Monchis’.

“My grandpa is the boss of his own business and is well-respected. Many refer to him as ‘Don Ramon’ which is also in the name of the food truck,” said Lopez. “The logo is actually him but in shrimp form.”

Lopez emphasizing that she is huge on family, acknowledging that she would not be where she is without them. Besides Lopez’s boyfriend, all of the employees at Mariscos Don Monchis are family. Lopez’s two sisters, older brother and cousin all work with her in her food truck.

Lopez envisions her food truck becoming long term. “We’re working it out hard right now to get more locations up and running,” said Lopez. She plans to expand to the Inland Empire and [throughout] the Los Angeles county.

“There are a lot of food trucks out there, but not many are serving mariscos. I like to believe that what we’re doing is unique,” she said.

Mariscos Don Monchis offers a large variety of food in their menu that serve to be equally popular amongst their customers. “Our most popular [dish] right now is definitely our tres primos plate,” said Lopez. The ‘tres primos’ meal contains ceviche de camarón, camarón cocido and aguachiles.

The food truck is open Wed. through Sun. from noon to 5 p.m. in Paramount and provides a small, outdoor dining area available to its customers right next to the truck. Mariscos Don Monchis has received many positive reviews and locals always have positive things to say.

Lopez’s advice to other young business owners is to trust the process. Lopez said, “Sometimes the most unexpected things become your biggest blessings.”