Success Stories

Every entrepreneur will tell you that there was a moment in their lives when they realized that they had to set out on
their own. That their idea was too bright to deny. That they were destined for something different.
For Blanca Gonzalez, owner of International Truck of Tacos, that epiphany came after she had children and was
easing back into the corporate world. “My heart just wasn’t in it anymore,” she says. “It was like something inside
of me changed. I saw the world differently all the sudden. And it wasn’t just about raising the kids, it was bigger
than that. I began to see how women were treated in the corporate world, especially women with children, and I
wanted to do something about it.”

Raised in Mexico with a close family, she turned to them to discuss her feelings. “It was 2016 and there was a lot
of fear in America about Mexican people,” she says. “I wanted to do something to help women, but also to help
bridge the gap between cultures that seemed to be widening. I love America. And I love Mexico. One way I
thought we could come together and share cultures was with food.”

And so with the help of her family in Mexico, she was able to procure a food truck. “It needed a lot of work,” she
says. “My dad is retired and agreed to rebuild the truck as a retirement project. His belief in my idea was paramount to it coming true. He told me, ‘Your heart will hurt if you don’t follow it.’”
Six months later, Blanca and her father drove her taco truck north to the US. After some issues at the border, they had just crossed into Texas when the truck’s transmission died. Then later in Georgia, the engine died. But six weeks after leaving her home in Mexico, she finally arrived in Charlotte where she got to work hiring people to help her run her business.

“One of my goals was for customers to look inside the truck and see women of all ethnicities,” she says proudly.
“And that’s exactly what happens when you visit. Not only do we offer homemade fresh food, but the truck itself
represents love. A love of culture. A love of unity. A love of food. Food being one thing that connects all of us
regardless of ethnicity, gender, or political affiliation.”

Director of United Women for Change in Union County, Gonzalez has remained committed to her original vision for
ITOT—to help women. “Our ladies are trained, certified, and even become bilingual,” she says. “I believe that the
universe brings people together. And the more we can spread acceptance and love, the more those things return
to us. We spread these messages with food. Because to us, food is love.”

When COVID-19 made its way into our daily lives in 2020, Blanca’s business suffered. “All of our normal business
went away. Where once we would park and people would come to us, we had to pivot to go to where the people
were.” But even that wasn’t enough, and, as the pandemic continued to spread in late spring, she had to go into her
personal savings to keep her employees afloat. Something that the Open for Business Access to Capital Grant
from the City of Charlotte helped with. “The grant was amazing,” she says. “It helped out so much. I am so
grateful. I really love this city and the grant showed me that my city loves me back.”

As she continues to shift to keep her business moving forward into 2021, Blanca has some sage advice for fellow
entrepreneurs struggling to stay focused this year. “Ask for help,” she says with a smile. “Trust your heart that
there are kind people in the world who want to help. You just have to be willing to ask. Another thing to remember
is that life is like a game of Chutes and Ladders. One minute you’re on top, the next you’re back down. Over and
over. It’s like this for everyone. That’s why it’s important to approach life in the moment and to lead with kindness in
all things. And always follow your heart.”

Can't Find What You're Looking For?

Learn more about what Charlotte has to offer your business.