STOCKTON, California — On Stockton's busy Pacific Avenue amidst a competitive sea of food trucks, 48-year-old Erica Soriano is finally open for business.
"I am very, very excited," Soriano said, speaking in her native Spanish.
But excited may be an understatement. She moved to the U.S. from Mexico nearly 20 years ago, leaving behind a life of poverty to take a chance on a new life and opportunity.
"It everything to her. She's worked so hard throughout the years to finally be where she's at. I've witnessed first hand all of the hard work she's put into it," said Zaudy Russell, Soriano's daughter.
That hard work included years of selling flowers and oranges on the streets of Stockton and Los Angeles.
For the past six years, she worked six days a week with 10-hour days and cooked for several different taco trucks.
All the while, she saved her money to buy her own taco truck. And, on Wednesday, it all paid off.
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She opened for business with a $45,000 taco truck that she now owns and paid cash for.
"After so many years, I finally did it, and I'm very happy," Soriano said.
Soriano grew up in Veracruz, Mexico, along the Gulf of Mexico. That's why her menu includes mariscos, or seafood, like shrimp tacos.
18-year-old son Luis De Los Santos is her only employee.
"In my opinion, in my mind, she's the best I've ever known," said De Los Santos, who takes orders but is also learning to cook.
As far as Soriano's next goal, she is planning to save money to pay for her son's college.
If you would like to try out Erica Soriano's menu, her bright, red truck is called El Sobroso Tacos Y Mariscos -- El Sobroso means "The Tasty." It's located on the corner of Pacific Avenue and Benjamin Holt Drive and parked close to the CVS pharmacy.
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