We really wanted the Café con Leche concept to be about keeping the cuisine ‘mom & pop’, while simultaneously bringing Cuban cuisine and culture to a wider audience
Sherman Oaks, CA (PRWEB) February 10, 2011
Los Angeles’ first Cuban food truck, Café con Leche (http://twitter.com/cubancafemobile), has responded to customer demand by adding on-line ordering to its existing array of varied food services. Café con Leche Catering LA is currently offering their on-line pre-ordering services for any and all of their scheduled stops, which can be found ahead of time via their Twitter or Facebook pages. To access their on-line ordering – including sandwich customization – please visit Café con Leche Catering LA’s web site, http://www.cafeconlechecatering.com.
“The push for on-line ordering really came from our lunchtime crowd…when they only have a limited amount of time for lunch, being able to pre-order and pay for their food from their office or from home, will alleviate having to wait in line. When we’re at their location, all they need to do is pick up their order, and go,” says Gabriel Martinez, founder and CEO of Café con Leche Catering LA.
The Café con Leche food truck first appeared on Los Angeles’ booming food truck scene in late June 2010. Miami expats Gabriel Martinez and his partner in the venture, executive chef Francisco Tosta-mönch, launched the truck and concept with the intention of bringing easily accessible, authentic Cuban food – with some updated twists – to Angelenos, along with a side-dish of Cuban culture comprised of food, dance and fun.
Martinez lived in Los Angeles for a while before returning to Miami, where he realized how much he had missed the infusion of Cuban food and culture that was not prevalent in Los Angeles – he missed his Cuban “fix”, as it were. Always a visionary with an eye for concepts that have yet to exist, Martinez decided to develop a sort of Cuban version of Starbucks®, in an effort to raise Cuban cuisine and culture to a national level. Upon his return to Los Angeles, Martinez saw the food truck phenomenon and decided that a truck was the perfect delivery vehicle for initiating his plan – a mobile method for creating a commercial Cuban cuisine empire.
At any given stop, the Café con Leche truck’s fans and foodies can expect to receive an entire experience with their Media Noche sandwich, Croquetas, and Café Cubano. Martinez rolls out a make-shift café complete with table and chairs; speakers surround diners with Salsa sounds; and the truck’s staff offer up impromptu dance lessons for willing patrons. Not to be outshined, the spotlight still remains on the truck’s gourmet cuisine: Venezuela-born and Miami-raised, executive chef Tosta-mönch brings to the moveable table his lifetime in the culinary realm having managed, run, owned and cooked at numerous restaurants in Venezuela and South Florida.
Martinez and Tosta-mönch have known each other for the better part of seven years, but it wasn’t until Martinez returned to Miami in 2009 with his idea for a mobile Cuban café, that the two paired up to start a business. With a menu created by Tosta-mönch, who grew up cooking the same sort of cuisine that the truck now serves, Café con Leche became a food pioneer, extending the Cuban cuisine outreach. And their pioneering spirit didn’t stop there, as the duo now ventures into the on-line ordering frontier, further expanding the Cuban reach, influence and tangible energy that the team embodies.
Martinez has deep roots in the entertainment industry, with a background in media, television and music, and he continues to leverage those ties. Martinez’s long-time friend and colleague, Cuban-born actor Steven Bauer, of “Scarface” fame, often surprises Café con Leche customers by handing over their orders from inside the truck’s kitchen. In response to customer feedback, Martinez named one of the truck’s most popular sandwiches, the “El Manolo”, after Bauer’s famous cinematic character, Manolo Ribera.
And the show biz bent doesn’t stop, there: The Café con Leche truck had been actively promoting the Food Network’s hit series, “The Great Food Truck Race”, by sporting the network-given series’ logo. And in the August 30, 2010 “pre-Emmy” issue of People magazine (pg. 122), the Café con Leche truck was featured – and pictured – in an article entitled “Kathy Griffin: A Day With My Emmys” – a day that started with Café con Leche.
“We really wanted the Café con Leche concept to be about keeping the cuisine ‘mom & pop’, while simultaneously bringing Cuban cuisine and culture to a wider audience,” says Tosta-mönch, Café con Leche’s executive chef.
A wider audience, indeed: In the past seven or so months, Café con Leche has built a formidable Facebook and Twitter following, the requisite tools of the food truck trade. And in a conscious effort to attract a larger cross-section of customers, Tosta-mönch includes non-carnivorous options on his menu, like healthy salads and veggie sandwich options. The pair also aim to keep their enterprise eco-minded: The truck’s unmistakable bright, red wrap is one of the first “green” food truck wraps in the country.
Café con Leche Catering LA has also garnered a true catering fan-base. They have provided full production and catering services for numerous parties, for both private and corporate clients, including a launch party for Activision’s video game, “Call of Duty: Black Ops”, which features a segment set in Cold War era Cuba. Café con Leche can provide full-blown Cuban-themed events, carrying over that Cuban experience from the truck to clients’ homes or other venues.
“We’ve even catered private, Jewish events…Shabbat dinners, Bar Mitzvahs. How’s that for introducing Cuban culture to L.A.,” adds Martinez.
To find the Café con Leche food truck, follow them on Twitter (http://twitter.com/cubancafemobile) or “Like” them on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cafe-con-Leche-Catering-LA/114483758575065). On-line ordering is available via their web site, at http://www.cafeconlechecatering.com.
The Café con Leche food truck is open for lunch seven days a week, from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, and dinner and late-night seven days, from 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM. Wednesday through Saturday, the truck also serves late-night from 11:00 PM – 3:00 AM. For more information about Café con Leche or their new on-line ordering, please call Anna Ferguson, Stiletto Marketing, at 1.877.327.2656.