GREAT FALLS — Great Falls is growing, and attracting families who want to settle down - including the Ibarra family. Robert Ibarra wanted to move here to raise his family and start his own restaurant, and recently opened a food truck, Taqueria Ibarra.
His plans took a tragic turn when his wife Jamie passed away unexpectedly during the process of moving from California a few years ago, leaving him and their son behind. Now, Robert has the truck up and running but not anything like he had visioned. He was planning to open it last year until Covid delayed his plans and forced him to regroup again.
“It was her dream to come out here and build the restaurant, and that’s what the truck is for,” Ibarra said. “It was hard and we’re still moving on, but this is our year. It’s been great being able to finally be open.”
Ibarra is partnering with Great Falls businesses - including the Beacon Icehouse - to sell food at their events and get his name into the community.
He almost thought he going to have to run it solo but was able to enlist help from a family friend and her daughter to get the truck running.
Zoey Kercher helped tutor Ibarra’s son and was asked to help with the food truck as well, so naturally, she agreed to help, and it’s worked out for both.
Zoey said, “I did need a job at the time because of Covid. I was just babysitting but it is fun working with him. It has been a good summer job for me.”
It has been a long time coming and it isn’t quite the restaurant Robert had in mind, but his and Jamie’s dreams are coming to life thanks to the food truck and what he has been able to do with it thus far.
Eventually, when more family moves to Montana to help run a restaurant, they plan on naming it for Jamie.
“This is what the truck is for, is her. And it has been great since I’ve opened. I love seeing faces and hearing people walk away go, ‘Oh my gosh, this is good!’ because I love cooking and I love cooking for people,” Ibarra said.
Robert says he wants more people to try authentic food that isn’t always readily available in the state and plans to continue to use his what he calls his "top-secret" family recipes.
One of his next locations will be City Cuts on Saturday, September 11th, from noon until 4 p.m. (1520 3rd Street NW). Click here to visit the Taqueria Ibarra Facebook page.