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With community support, this popular Bellingham food truck is back in action

Popular food truck back in Bellingham after fire

Tacos El Tule is back after its food truck was destroyed in a fire Aug. 16, 2019. The truck is now open for lunch weekdays on Meridian Street in Bellingham, Wash.
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Tacos El Tule is back after its food truck was destroyed in a fire Aug. 16, 2019. The truck is now open for lunch weekdays on Meridian Street in Bellingham, Wash.

A popular Bellingham food truck is back in action, thanks to support from many in the community.

Tacos El Tule was back in its regular spot with a loaned truck at 3548 Meridian St. on Wednesday, Sept. 4, serving a limited Mexican food menu by donation. It was a way for Joey Robles and his wife, Tiffany Rose, to say thank you to customers.

Robles’ truck was destroyed by a fire on Friday, Aug. 16, in what Bellingham Fire department determined to be arson. In the days following the fire a GoFundMe account was established, which raised more than $8,000. Mi Rancho Meat Market also offered to loan its food truck, while many others who didn’t want to donate through the internet have stopped by to offer support, Robles said.

Robles said he wanted to do the meal-for-a-donation on the first day back because while he’s been appreciative of all the support he’s received since the fire, it still made him feel uncomfortable accepting help.

“I felt like if people wanted to help me, let me at least make you some tacos,” Robles said.

It was a situation where the shoe was on the other foot for Robles, who is known in the community for donating his time and food. He’s a volunteer football coach; he’s also taken his food truck to downtown Bellingham to feed the homeless.

“It’s incredible how much he does in the community,” said Brook Dubail, a customer at the food truck on its first day back.

Robles got involved with Tacos El Tule about three years ago, taking over ownership of the truck a year ago. The truck settled on the Meridian Street/Orchard Drive location because it was an area with plenty of nearby workers, including Bellingham Cold Storage and the hospital. That, along with being on a busy street and tasty food, created a strong following Robles said.

The truck is at the Meridian spot 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Details and updates can be fount on Tacos El Tule’s Facebook page.

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Dave Gallagher has covered the Whatcom County business community since 1998. Retail, real estate, jobs and port redevelopment are among the topics he covers.
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