BELFAST—Matthew Norwood, owner of Baby Burrito in City Park, decided with his partner, Maggie Goscinski, to sell tacos for a cause on Tuesday, July 23.
On a Facebook post the day before, Norwood announced: “It’s hard to serve Mexican cuisine without thinking about the current adversity facing immigrants and refugees at our border. Families belong together, and seeking asylum isn’t illegal. Instead of doing our usual Taco Tuesday giveaway, we’ll be donating 20% of our profits to RAICES Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.”
The idea was Goscinski’s.
“Obviously it’s in the news and on everyone’s mind,” she said. “Right now our son is in South Carolina visiting his mom and he’s very safe, but it got us thinking. It’s been really difficult for us to be apart from him and it really puts into perspective for us what’s happening with children being separated from their parents at the border and held without any time frame of when they’ll be reunited with their parents again.”
“We’ve had a lot of people come out to show their support,” said Norwood.
“You have to tread lightly in a business when it comes to being political, but I think everyone agrees that children belong with their parents,” said Goscinski.
Norwood, formerly a cook at Chase’s Daily, said he learned how to cook Mexican food from Chase’s Daily first, then researched cookbooks and recipes online, finally testing out his own recipes with his son, Ian, 8, to come up with the menu for Baby Burrito. A former self-described ”army brat,” Norwood’s parents are originally from Boothbay and he grew up in parts of England and Germany.
He started Baby Burrito on June 8 in the City Park and the business has taken off.
The menu is very simple, but ever changing, featuring tacos, burritos, quesadillas, homemade salsas, a kid’s menu and Agua Fresca (watermelon puree over ice) at very affordable prices.
“That was my number one goal is to make this food accessible to everyone,” said Norwood. “And the core principle of serving street food is that it’s for the community.”
Usually Tuesdays are Norwood’s day off. But on this day, he was back in the small kitchen making tacos with a variety of flavors: a fish taco, carne asada, a Mexican shredded beef, chorizo potato and Korean barbeque. He said his Korean barbeque, which is a fusion of flavors, have been the most popular for Mainers, perhaps because many parts of Maine don’t have access to authentic Mexican street food flavors and Korean barbeque is more of a familiar taste.
“One of the things about an ever-evolving menu is that if you fall in love with one kind of taco it might not be on the menu the next time, so it is a way for people to branch out and try something else,” said Goscinski.
Baby Burrito is open from Thursday-Sunday 11-2:30 p.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m.
For more information on Baby Burrito visit them on Facebook
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org