In November 2018, Miguel and Ying Alvarez opened Hibachi Daruma restaurant in downtown Minneapolis after six successful seasons of operating their food truck with the same name. They serve fresh Japanese style hibachi, made to order in a fast-casual style concept.
Miguel has more than 25 years of experience cooking hibachi. He manages the food aspect of the business, focusing on the quality and freshness of the ingredients he uses. Miguel even makes all of the delicious sauces he uses from scratch.
Ying handles “everything else” as she says. This includes managing the finances, marketing, taking orders, and more. She readily shares her knowledge and experience with other food truck operators in the Twin Cities.
Miguel and Ying met while working in various restaurants around the Twin Cities. One route they took while driving into downtown for work brought them past a business with a sign out front that they build food trucks. Every day they saw the sign and eventually, the idea stuck with them. They had heard about the need for food trucks to serve the growing numbers of workers in the North Dakota oil fields, but in a stroke of good fortune, Minneapolis eased parking restrictions on food trucks and they decided to stay in the Twin Cities. They talked to a few others they knew in the industry, got some good advice, and then opened their truck the next year to rave reviews.
But operating a food truck in Minnesota has its drawbacks. Namely, winters. They wanted a permanent space in downtown Minneapolis that would complement their food truck so they could operate year round. They found a space near S. 8th St. and Marquette Ave. and started looking for financing options.
They were referred to VP/Business Banking Luke Ferden at North American Banking Company by the owner of Butcher Salt--another local food truck--based on their experiences with Luke as customers. Together with Luke’s guidance, they put together business plans for the financing that would fit their needs.
“We had been in touch with another banker and we didn’t get to where we wanted to be,” said Ying. “I looked at a few other lenders online too but Luke presented the best options for us.”
“Luke listens to what we need and what we are looking for,” continued Ying. “He finds options that fit our needs. We’re very happy to work with him.”
Hibachi Daruma is located at 820 Marquette Ave. S and is open Monday-Saturday, 10:30-8 PM. To learn more about their restaurant and food truck, go to http://hibachidarumamn.com.