Shortly after opening MooShoes Los Angeles last fall, Katie and I were enjoying one of our favorite Sunday activities—walking down to the Hollywood Farmers Market—when we stumbled upon a friendly looking fellow just off the beaten path selling hand-made vegan tacos. Turns out this fellow was named Mick Weldon and he happens to both make some stellar vegan tacos and seemingly be one of the nicest guys in the world. Tomorrow, he’ll be heading down to MooShoes (3116 Sunset in Silver Lake) to sell tacos and brighten up everyone’s day, so we thought we’d take this opportunity to find out a little more about him and his bike-cart-based taco company, 100 Tacos.
And, since I know it’s likely everyone’s question right off the bat—amazing photo above by Maria Foto. Everyone needs one of these portraits. Everyone.
raven + crow: Alright, obviously the first question has got to be—why are you so nice, man? Are you from the mid-west or something?
Mick Weldon: Aw shucks…I’m from Texas!
Southern kindness then. I’ll buy it. Alright, second question—what made you want to start up a taco cart? Are you particularly into tacos or is it more a matter of promoting veganism…or something else entirely?
100 Tacos began not by design, but rather out of necessity…and partially as a joke. I started carrying pre-made tacos to cycling races around Los Angeles to feed my friends and other racers (okay, and myself). Those things go on for hours, and rarely is there anything worth a damn to eat, much less something vegan or vegetarian. People were receptive to the idea, and about two years later I took it to whole new worlds (don’t you dare close your eyes).
Nice. I love an organic start-up story. For the unlucky souls who have yet to try your tacos, break ’em down for us, ideally in the style of a 80’s rap song.
Lay on the warm sand and listen to PM Dawn’s “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss”…it’ll all make sense.
The soy chorizo totally tastes exactly like that song. So what’s the inspiration behind the fresh, made-to-order tortillas?
It was love at first bite. I use non-GMO Masa Harina flour; the truth is in the tortilla. And doing it all by hand blurs the lines between food preparation and performance art or interpretive dance.
You should totally have interpretative dancers behind you while you prepare the tacos. Why a bike-drawn cart though? Was that just a by-product of the races or getting to know the guys over at Bicycle Coffee?
I owe it all to them. No company just “manufactures” a cart like this. I’ve been friends with Bicycle Coffee since they were roasting beans in a wok in their Inner Sunset apartment’s kitchen. Matthew McKee began designing and welding these magical carts off of which they now serve cold-brewed coffee out of a tap, as well as hot pour-over. I told them I quit my job and was ready to take 100 Tacos to the next level. After a short drive and a few days in Oakland, the first BC cart for food was completed.
Wait, what job did you quit for 100?
Working at a vegan bakery.
Ah. I picture you whiling your days away in an Office Space style cubical. Does that get really rough some days though, maybe in the middle of the summer when you’re trucking that thing up a pretty serious hill?
I just count my lucky stars I’m not melting my life away in someone else’s kitchen, or in the office of a stuffy corporation.
High five to that. Now, not to put un-needed pressure on you, but any plans to expand the menu at all in the future?
Most definitely, as long as it is within my means. Evolving as needed is natural growth. Creating new options with what’s locally available and in season is how we should be eating anyway.
Nice. Excited to see what comes then. And where does the name come from—100 Tacos? Why 100?
“I sure could go for 100 tacos right about now.” – Bart Simpson
100 tacos is an achievable goal for an afternoon. When I’m all sold out, I move on to the next thing I want to do with my day.
AHHHHHHHH! A Simpson’s reference. I’m disappointed in myself for not catching that in the first place. Are you looking at this as a start to a brick-and-mortar kinda operation or are you more keen to keep it as is?
The beauty of not being tied to a set location and schedule affords me the time and energy to travel and pursue my other interests.
Like holding cats in a portrait-esque manner. And you’re a fairly recent transplant to Los Angeles, right?
Going on five years now. I hopped on a one way flight from Dallas, with a bag of essentials and my bicycle.
It’s nothing like TV tells us. And if people are complaining about traffic, lack of nature, Hollywood, etc…they are doing it wrong. The mountains and the ocean are just a bike ride away.
Our favorite thing about this town. Though don’t tell everyone. We don’t want to over-saturate this place with stuffy ex-New Yorkers like ourselves. So what do you think of the food scene here?
It’s pretty incredible. Anything vegan you could ever want is here. Honorable mentions: Vin Loi, Shojin, Donut Friend, Mohawk Bend, PFFP, Pure Luck, Organix, and Araya.
Aw, man, I have yet to check out Vin Loi. Gotta get on that. Did I see somewhere that you were in a band at one point with Austin from Parquet Courts?
Yes! We are Secret Path. Austin Brown, Donovan Jones (This Will Destroy You) and I create dark mystic space jams for bumping in aircraft jalopies on interplanetary voyages.
Have you been doing music at all since your move?
Each album takes one decade to complete, so we are halfway to the next installment!
We look forward to Secret Path 2020! Favorite thing about Los Angeles?
“Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
That guy. He knew what was up. Best place—besides your cart—you’ve ever had Mexican food?
Bouldin Creek and Mr. Natural in Austin are classics. But I’m still lookin’.
And where can people find you, regularly or semi-regularly?
Currently, next to the Hollywood Farmers Market at Space 1520 (Sundays from 9am-1pm), but I am available to cater events, and I would love to serve tacos at your central Los Angeles Bat Mitzvah, Quinceañera, Grandmother’s 80th, or spooky roller disco party. –> firstname.lastname@example.org <–
Best farmers market in LA, man! Finally, spirit animal?
Falcor; flying on a non-GMO corn tortilla carpet.
Tomorrow—Saturday—you can find Mick slinging tacos in front of MooShoes Los Angeles at 3116 Sunset in Silver Lake starting at 11AM or so. Come by, eat some tacos, peruse some vegan shoes, and say hey.