By Emily G. Peters
Churro Garage co-owner Elizabeth Garcia was in a flurry of prep work when she paused for a half an hour to talk about the pop-up business she launched last year with her husband Chris. “I’ve always wanted to do something different. I was an executive assistant working nine to five, stuck in offices and corporate settings,” she said. “Then one day, my mom came to me with an idea.”
The idea was simple: sell 100 percent fresh, gourmet churros with all-natural sauces. With Elizabeth in the corporate world and Chris working as a mechanic, neither had a lot of experience making the sweet treat. Still, the lure of finally operating their own business was strong.
“We knew it was possible with the help of my mom, Sylvia. She’s pretty much a chef and can cook anything. With my husband as a welder and mechanic, he can build anything. I understood the admin side, obtaining permits, etc.,” Garcia explained. “It took us about three months to perfect the recipe—and then we were ready to go.”
Churro Garage’s classic churro (lovingly dubbed “The Tune-Up” after Chris’s mechanic prowess) is completely vegan and nut-free, while one of their most popular sellers—a glorious peanut butter, jelly and bacon concoction—is anything but. Cajeta (caramel) or sweetened condensed milk can be added, and special appearances by Fruity Pebbles, ice cream, or the nutty Mexican candy Mazapan will often grace the menu. But no matter your eating preferences or restrictions, you’ll find something to enjoy at Churro Garage.
“The main thing was to be able to feed everybody. We made sure the base recipe contained no eggs, no dairy and no nuts so that anybody can eat the batter, and we’re working towards a gluten-free version, too. Some people with diabetes will even eat them without the sugar!” said Garcia. “We want to be accessible—to not to turn anyone away.”
A pop-up shop with no current storefront, Churro Garage appears around Los Angeles at various locations, food festivals and catered affairs. While constantly on the road, the couple still considers the Friday-night Monrovia Street Fair on Myrtle Avenue their home base.
“I was raised in Monrovia, and I’ve been going to the farmer’s market since I was a kid,” said Garcia. “I think people like us being available in different cities, but it’s been really nice to be able to do business here. The Monrovia Street Fair is our home.”
Find Churro Garage most Friday nights at the Monrovia Street Fair on Myrtle Avenue from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information or catering, contact Churro Garage at churrogarage.com | (626) 626-6333 | firstname.lastname@example.org and check them out on Facebook and Instagram @churrogarage.