Turning A Job Into A Dream

August 24, 2016

Magaly learned to cook at a young age from her parents and grandfather. She has always loved the rich flavors in Cuban food. “The seasonings in Cuban food are beautiful,” she said.

Magaly owned her own restaurant in Cuba but had to rebuild her life when resettling in Austin in 2015. She dreamt of one day becoming a restaurant owner again in her new home.

 “Mike, my Employment Specialist, is the best. The first thing he did was listen to me. He heard my dream and has been so dedicated to making it possible,” Magaly said.

Caritas of Austin’s employment team helped Magaly get her first job as a cook at Habana Austin, a local Cuban restaurant. There she learned what types of food Austinites really liked. On her days off, she worked a second job in construction to save enough money to purchase a trailer in order to open her own food truck.

The Caritas team connected Magaly to the chef who teaches Caritas’ Food Industry Employment Training classes. Chef Victor has become a mentor to Magaly and helped her navigate the licensing and permitting process for opening a food truck. With your past support, Caritas was able to help Magaly purchase her grill, knives, and other cooking supplies for the trailer as well as cover the cost of permitting, license, and her initial food purchases.

“Without Caritas, I would not have been able to do any of this,” she said.

This June, Magaly opened her food truck, “La Cubanita”, in Round Rock. The truck operates in two locations, one of which is a stone yard where truck drivers welcome an authentic food option in an otherwise sparse area. 

 Her most popular item on the menu is a traditional pork sandwich called “pan con puerco asado”. At any hour of the day, there are people lined up to get a taste of Magaly’s Cuban cuisine.

She said her ultimate dream is to open a brick and mortar restaurant in the Austin area. For now though, she is ecstatic to be sharing her food with others.

“I cannot say enough about Caritas. They are great people who have been so persistent in helping me get to where I want to be,” said Magaly.

Your support is helping people find careers they love across all industries including hospitality and food, healthcare, manufacturing, and technology.  You are turning jobs into careers and empowering a path to lasting self-sufficiency for hundreds of individuals each year. Thank you!