Food Truck operations and business management are nothing new for local entrepreneur, Jonathan Strome. After procuring local Food Truck favourites, Chedda’ Heads and The Stache, Strome was exposed to the passion and opinions held in the community for these beloved mobile eateries.
After a whole year of consideration and helpful conversations with customers, the brand behind Taco Monster began taking form. The importance of connecting with people and bringing the community together through good food is what gave momentum to this expanding business venture. Read ahead for a look into how this Tourism Red Deer member has found success outside the (taco) box.
What makes you different, unique or stand out?
“We wanted to build a taco brand for our community, but tacos tend to feel kind of the same,” says Jonathan Strome, owner/operator of Taco Monster. “We wanted to think outside the box, break traditional rules and make the weird and unusual feel right in our tacos.”
With strategies built around customer input and adventurous flavour profiles, they knew they were on to something unique. “We are not authentic Mexican cuisine or gourmet,” Strome says, “We consider ourselves fusion, with a focus on fun flavour combinations which are unexpected and adventurous.”
Taco Monster’s bright colours and quirky little purple monster (affectionately known as Chomp) can be found splashed across their façades. “Our brand is eye-catching, and kids are especially drawn,” chuckles Strome. “We wanted to be a place for all ages, somewhere family-friendly that offers individual ordering options to suit all appetites.”
Whether you have only visited their food truck or have yet to sink your teeth into your first Taco Monster taco, you will want to check out the new (and favourite) flavours available at their restaurant location. With eight mouth-watering taco flavours featured on their current menu, tatter-tot or purple tortilla chip sides and freshly squeezed lemon and limeades, choosing any combination is a win. Order one for a quick snack, or one of each… best to let your inner hunger monster decide.
Why do you do what you do?
“I have a personal passion for community building,” says Strome, “I come from a community-minded family and as a born and raised Red Deerian, I take great pride and care into contributing. I am almost obsessed with the importance of why we connect and why it matters.”
Jonathan is also part owner of Bower Ponds Recreation, alongside his father and additional family members. Bower Ponds is a well-known cornerstone for community gatherings and activities in Red Deer, characteristics inherently present in his other ventures.
“Community favourites, ‘Food Truck Fridays’ and ‘Drive and Dash’ are two initiatives we help coordinate,” says Strome. “Be sure to watch for the Taco Monster food truck schedule starting weekly in May, we will be found throughout Red Deer, at local breweries, and in surrounding Central Alberta communities.”
With deep roots in the community and a fascination with bringing people together, venturing into the food and beverage industry only seemed natural for this local enthusiast. “Food is a connection point, it brings people together, not a new phenomenon, but a very important factor in us expanding into a restaurant location,” says Strome.
The Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market, has proven to be the perfect location for Taco Monster and its ideals to flourish. “We already see it happening,” says Strome, “people come together at the Market, it provides our community with a cultural hub and a place for people to spend time and enjoy many experiences.”
What can guests (local or visiting) expect to experience?
“They will enjoy a fun, welcoming and comfortable atmosphere,” says Strome, “our friendly staff will help pair them with great tasting food whether visiting the food truck or restaurant.”
While visiting their new location at the Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market, people have access to more than just tacos. “By visiting us at the new location, people will have access to other great food and drinks,” says Strome, “we are big on partnering with and supporting other local businesses.” You can find (Tourism Red Deer member) Troubled Monk craft sodas on the Taco Monster Menu.
What is new or upcoming?
“Design a Monster is back for its second year,” says Strome, “after a successful inaugural year and receiving 130 submissions we have decided to make this an annual contest.”
In an effort to connect with the community beyond offering tasty food, Taco Monster asked for people to create and submit a taco monster of their own. “Not only will the winner receive some awesome prizes,” Strome says, “the winning monster will also be illustrated to match our Taco Monster art style and join Chomp in the Taco Monster Universe!” 2020 winning monster by Emerson, Age 11, below.
How to get your hands on some Taco Monster tacos?!
Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market – Market Kitchen hours:
Thursdays 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Fridays & Saturdays 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sundays 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
During Market Hours: (Fri – Sun, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm) Use the main entrance on either the West or East side of the building.
Outside of Market Hours: Use the North-most glass doors on the North-end of either the West or East side of the building.
Be sure to keep an eye on social media for new and exciting announcements to come from Taco Monster!
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