Angela Garcia has always had a skill for preparing Mexican food, so when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020 and she couldn’t work, she decided to make and sell tamales to her neighbors.
One year later, Garcia now owns Bien Mexicana, a Mexican restaurant in the Fishers Test Kitchen, 9713 District N. Dr., and the Noblesville American Legion, 1094 Conner St.
“We had 20 orders within the hour,” Garcia said of her first effort to sell tamales. “It started to go crazy from there, and I knew we had to get out of the house, so we rented the Legion in Noblesville in June.”
Garcia and her husband, Carlos, who live in Noblesville, also bought a cargo trailer and converted it into a food truck. They started visiting neighborhoods in June. The Garcias cooked at the Legion and then sold the food truck three to four days a week in the food truck before the weather became too cold to sell from the truck. So, they offered carry-out from the Legion. They also took a temporary space at Fishers Test Kitchen in February, but sales were so good that they will operate in the space through the end of the month.
Now, Garcia is one of the restaurants being considered for a long-term space in the Fishers Test Kitchen.
Garcia’s ultimate goal is to open her own permanent restaurant.
“There was always the idea for a food truck or a restaurant or something but there were no steps made toward that until it was absolutely necessary,” Garcia said. “When everything got taken away, I thought, ‘Well, I know how to cook.’ I loved the idea of a food truck.”
Clay Terrace in Carmel offered to rent restaurant space to Garcia last year, but she felt it was still too risky with the pandemic. Now, she runs her business in the Fishers Test Kitchen from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. She also sells at the Noblesville American Legion, and those dates are listed on Bien Mexicana’s Facebook page.