Ta Bom Truck is a Brazilian food truck run by Korean/Brazilian twin sisters Jackie and Julie Kim along with their mother Ilse. The Los Angeles-based Ta Bom, which means It’s Good! in Portuguese, happens to be the first and only Brazilian Food Truck in Los Angeles.
HalfKorean.com had a chance to check in with Jackie and Julie to find out a little more about Ta Bom and their family.
Tell us a little about you and your family and what is the Ta Bom food truck?
Ta Bom is a family owned truck serving homemade Brazilian food! The truck was started by Juliana, Jaqueline, and our mother Ilse. Julie and I were born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Our father is Korean and, of course, our mother Brazilian. We were raised in Los Angeles, California. We grew up eating my mom’s Brazilian cooking and as we got older, she taught us how to cook Brazilian food. We speak four languages: English, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish. Our younger brother Aron and our father Dong also help out at the truck.
When and how was Ta Bom created? Who came up with the name?
Our family had a catering company back in 2002 called Ta Bom. Julie and I came up with the name “ta bom” which means “it’s good” in Portuguese. We figured many Koreans are familiar with the phrase “ta bom” and our main customers then (2002) were Koreans in downtown LA. We mainly focused on a dish called “feijoada” and “coxinhas.” The only cook then was my mom so we eventually stopped because it was too much work. In 2009, my sister and I decided what better way to start up again but this time with a food truck! After much planning, Ta Bom hit the streets in April 2010!
How competitive is the food truck business in Los Angeles?
It is very competitive! There are hundreds of food trucks in Los Angeles, but only one Brazilian food truck!
I saw an interview clip where you discussed changes in Los Angeles regulations regarding food trucks. What are your thoughts on that and the issue that “traditional” restaurants might have with food trucks?
To begin with, we usually stay away from areas with restaurants. We understand that the restaurants do not like having food trucks park near them, but most of our customers state they want good affordable food and not pricey tasteless food. At the end of the day, it’s the customer’s choice. The regulations are getting stricter. We are limited to how many hours we are allowed to park at one location, we receive tickets on a daily basis, and police do get involved. We feel it’s unfair for the food trucks because we are a business, we pay the city for permits, we get inspected like any restaurant, and we get parking tickets.
Now, I understand that this is not the only family business you guys have. Tell us briefly about your clothing line, Royal Ink.
Before Ta Bom started, we started a clothing line called Royal Ink. Julie and Aron are graphic designers and design all of the shirts found on the website. Jackie handles the sales department of the company. We take turns running Royal Ink. We are extremely busy but we love what we do.
So, if you are a southern California resident or happen to be in the area, please go out and support them! Thank you to the Jackie and Julie for their time and for sharing more about Ta Bom and their family.
Also, check out the recent feature on Ta Bom and the Kim family on Arirang’s Dream It episode #12, New Era, Delicious Stops on the Streets, that aired November 12, 2010.