Sydney Brummel—Staff Writer
There’s a brand new, bright yellow addition to Sioux Center’s North Main Avenue. Located in front of the Napa Auto Parts store right off the highway, Sioux Center’s newest food truck is garnering positive reviews and spurring the community’s appetite for local, family-made Mexican cuisine.
On July 7, 2021, Dennis Hernandez of Spirit Lake, Iowa started his new food business, Vero’s Mexican Bites, in a small truck purchased from Kansas City. Embellished with painted red peppers and emitting the mouthwatering scent of cooked meat and spices, the vehicle is hard to miss.
“Initially it was yellow. I figured yellow is kind of a really bright color—it stands out a lot more than any other,” Hernandez said. “My mom’s favorite color is yellow, so I figured it would work with the truck.”
Hernandez graduated with a business administration degree from Northwest Iowa Community College. With a knack for business management, he also runs another business in Omaha, Nebraska: a cleaning service for commercial buildings and other companies such as Lowe’s, Best Buy, and Microsoft.
“I’ve just been somebody who wants to get into every field,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez’s idea for the food truck came to him after several trips to California.
“When I’m out there [in California], we normally go to different food trucks because their food just seems to be better for some reason,” Hernandez said, “It looked like a really good business model to me, so I figured, maybe I’ll try something like that in Iowa.”
Inside the truck, Hernandez is joined by his sister, brother, stepfather, and mother, all from Sioux Center. While he and his siblings typically manage customers’ orders and the cash register, his parents cook the meals. His mother, Veronica, serves as the head cook and is the namesake of the business: Vero’s.
Veronica puts together the delicious meals with previous years of experience.
“My mom did have a restaurant, in 2013 or 2014, that was here in town,” Hernandez said, “It just got to the point where they were raising utility prices a lot…it just wasn’t worth us running it.”
Hernandez and his family have since found that running a food truck has the benefit of much lower maintenance costs and expenses. When the day is over, they clean up the truck and drive it back home for the night.
Vero’s currently serves a variety of Mexican foods, including burritos, quesadillas, flautas, and guajolotes. All of the ingredients for the meals—tortillas, meats, and produce—are purchased from Sam’s Club and other vendors in Sioux City and Sioux Falls. Once the family unpackages the ingredients, all of the cooking for Vero’s occurs inside the truck.
Hernandez is pleased with how his food truck business has progressed over the past couple of months. He has been impressed with how fast word of mouth has traveled for Vero’s and hopes to expand the business in the future.
“The thing that I’m most proud of is that people really enjoy my mom’s food,” Hernandez said. “Everybody comes back with good compliments being said about really good food and really good pricing.”
Hernandez personally recommends his mother’s quesabirrias. Especially in this area, it is rare to find a Mexican restaurant selling them, as the process to make quesabirrias takes about 10-11 hours of cooking and preparation.
“The quesabirrias are our number one seller,” Hernandez said.
Vero’s Mexican Bites is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The family tentatively plans on remaining open year-round.
“Shop local, try different things from different restaurants, “Hernandez said, “and keep growing as a community.”