Halley M. is just over $16k short of raising enough funds to kickstart her plan to open a Puerto Rican food truck here in the Gorge.
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Halley’s passion for food goes back to her youth. She spent hours at a time in the kitchen with her grandmother and great grandmother, even if it meant all she got to do was hang out and wash dishes.
Now, after spending a decade in the Gorge, Halley wants to bring her roots here. She notes on her Kickstarter page “I believe we need more diversity in the area. Being able to bring Puerto Rican cuisine to the area would be a dream come true for me.”
(And it’s true, could we get some Indian food up in here? Ethiopian? Nepalese please?)
So, what’s the plan and what’s the menu? The Kickstarter Halley set up is an all-or-nothing fundraiser. She either hits her $20k goal or everyone is refunded. The fundraiser will run until Monday, March 7, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. (PST). Right now, 41 people have donated a total of $3,387.
Halley told Hood River Eats she chose Kickstarter over other platforms because “with a Kickstarter I am able to give back or repay those who back the project, which I think is really great because they are essentially helping my dream come to life.” She has set up rewards for different levels of support with everything from a free meal (pledge at least $10 for this reward) to private cooking classes (pledge $5,000 or more). While the all-or-nothing situation is somewhat risky, she says she has a lot of hope she will reach her goal with the help of the community.
As far as the menu, Halley will focus on her heritage with dishes like Pastelón (a Puerto Rican lasagna, she says). Think sweet plantains, ground meat, and cheese. She also wants to bring other parts of the culture as well and make her food truck a place where people come to share stories, dance, play dominos, and eat.
The truck will be located in Bingen, WA, most likely, but Halley says she has an open mind. Want to try her food? You'll have a chance this Friday, January 28. Halley will be serving up food (Puerto Rican stew as well as rice & beans) at Uplifted Coffee in Bingen from 10:30 until she's sold out. Food will be $6 per plate. Uplifted will throw in a virgin pina colada red bull/Italian soda. There will be options to donate on the spot (you can also donate on Kickstarter at any time).
If you go: Uplifted Coffee is located at 705 West Steuben Street in Bingen. Food starts flowing at 10:30 this Friday (Jan 28) only. $6 per plate.
She says she’s also working to try to get into the Hood River Farmers Market in the future so that people can have a chance to try her food, if they don't make it to this Friday's event.