Food Service & Agriculture and Small Business & Startups

Woking Taco steps into downtown Grand Rapids

July 2, 2013
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Woking Taco steps into downtown Grand Rapids
Woking Taco is a version of the Fritos-based walking taco. Photo via fb.com

A walking taco is now a Woking Taco.

A new vendor is coming to downtown Grand Rapids this summer, with plans to sell the first known commercialized form of the delicious, homemade dish known as the walking taco.

For those who’ve never indulged in one of these delicious meals in either high school or college, when most people first discover this little gem, here is the recipe: A walking taco, also known as a Frito pie or a Frito boat, is a meal essentially consisting of corn chips, chili and cheese and can include extras like vegetables, salsa, beans, rice and anything else one might enjoy in a taco.

The most common procedure is to pour all the ingredients into an open bag of corn chips and go at it with a fork.

The undertaking to commercialize the popular dish as the Woking Taco in Grand Rapids is the brainchild of co-founders Kyle Lenkey and Benjamin Gott, founder of Boxed Water Is Better, a Grand Rapids-based boxed water company that recently expanded into Holland.

The two friends developed the idea out of the Uptown Kitchen incubator in Grand Rapids.

“It’s playful. We think the product is very fun,” Lenkey said. “It hasn’t been attempted to be commercialized yet. . . . I’ve done research online. There are a few places that serve a variation of it, but never commercialized as a staple product.”

Lenkey said the plan is to wheel a converted hot-dog cart around downtown about five days a week during lunch time and late nights, selling the Woking Tacos for about $5 in 15-ounce cartons that resemble the boxes used for Chinese takeout food — hence the word-play name Woking Taco.

Soft drinks, boxed water and vegan options will be available, he said, adding that all the ingredients are being bought from local food service distributors, including the Downtown Market.

Lenkey is currently waiting for final approval from the Kent County Health Department. Once that happens — and he expects it will within the next couple weeks — he’s hoping to have the cart out and about in downtown as early as the middle of this month.

“We’re super excited about it. We’ve had a few small parties with it and heard good feedback,” he said. “I think there’s tons of opportunities here for young entrepreneurs. It’s an environment really blossoming for young businesses.”

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