The Mid-Valley area will soon be getting a second food truck park when Mercedes opens its version in early 2022.
The Queen City Food Park will be located right alongside the south side of Expressway 83 on its access road where it intersects with Virginia Street. Its owners are Ashley and Roy Gonzalez, who began the process of having a food park in mid-2020. The couple has worked closely with the city government on the permitting process. They also sought the assistance of the Development Corporation of Mercedes in securing a federally funded loan to help in the startup process.
“It was a learning process for us,” said Roy Gonzalez, who said they also sought the advice of Mario Mendiola, the owner of The Eatery-Downtown Weslaco.
Mendiola advised them of the challenges he faced in establishing his food truck park in late 2020. The Gonzalezes have seen the impact The Eatery has made in Weslaco and hope to do the same for Mercedes.
“We see the food truck park as a place that allows people to come together,” Roy Gonzalez said.
Investing In Home
The Queen City Food Park will start with five vendors. It is aiming to have a variety of offerings, including a daiquiri shop Ashley Gonzalez will own and operate. One of her brothers will run a crawfish food truck. The roughly half-acre spot will be under construction for the next few months. The goal is to have it open by the time the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show of Mercedes opens in March 2022.
“The food park is going to be an addition to the things we already have in Mercedes,” said Fred Gonzalez, the president of the Mercedes Chamber of Commerce, who is also president of the city’s EDC board. “We’re excited about bringing this new business to our community.”
Gonzalez, Melissa Ramirez, the executive director of the Mercedes EDC and other city leaders gathered recently for a groundbreaking for the Mercedes food park. A city commissioner praised the Gonzalez couple for investing in their hometown and bringing a new business venture to Mercedes.
“It shows young entrepreneurs are coming back to Mercedes,” City Commissioner Joe Martinez said. “It speaks volumes about their commitment to their city.”