DENVER — Alejandro Flores-Munoz knows the work it takes to start a new business and a new life.
"As a DACA recipient, I always thought that I needed a nine-digit number to make a living in this country and DACA allowed me to have a work authorization and to feel liberated enough to be able to go and do whatever I wanted," said Flores-Munoz.
A couple years ago, he purchased Stokes Poke, now a popular food truck. The majority of business was catering but because of COVID-19, that was no longer an option in 2020 and his profits plummeted.
"I have lost 83% of my business," he said.
That got Flores-Munoz thinking about coming up with a new concept that would thrive under the current restrictions.
He came up with Combi Taco, a virtual-only kitchen.
"My virtual kitchen goes back to my roots," he said. "I was born in Guadalajara. I was brought to this country when I was 7 years old and I still remember having some really good tacos at the young age of 7."
The flavors of carne asada, limes and chorizo are made under the same roof as Stokes Poke, but are only available for delivery through their website, Doordash and UberEats starting Dec. 1.
"As an immigrant I have the drive, I have the want to make it happen because I want to be able to build generational wealth for myself and my family," said Flores-Munoz.
It’s that desire to make something of himself that won’t let him quit.
"I've had to reduce my salary. I've had to cut down and at times not paying myself anything just to make sure that I have enough to be able to buy more product in case an order comes in," said Flores-Munoz.
He’s hoping his new kitchen will be a hit that could open more doors for him and other restaurant owners in the future.