Godfrey Raymond loves the freedom he enjoys as the taco trucker behind Raymond’s Catering.
“I’m out here to entertain!” Godfrey Raymond says with a chuckle. Wearing a gray beanie, a shirt with a grizzly bear and a coin-dispensing belt, he’s standing in front of a white truck that says Raymond’s Catering.
He bought the truck in 1988, and has been selling tacos, burritos, burgers and breakfast food ever since. Raymond parks on Science Hill at UCSC every afternoon, and makes stops all over town earlier in the morning. We caught up with him on Ingalls Street around 9:30am.
SANTA CRUZ WEEKLY: How do you make a good taco?
RAYMOND: I’m not the one making the tacos. That’s her [pointing to chef Alicia Gonzalez]. Just double tortillas, and she puts a lot of good veggies in there, beans on all the tacos. And she does veggie tacos. I don’t eat them, because I’m driving and I’m always busy.
You don’t eat tacos?
I eat burritos all the time, just because it’s more convenient. She cuts them in half for me. She’s been with me 19 years now.
If you could park your taco truck anywhere, where would you put it?
Just what I’m doing. I move around all the time. I like dealing with different people all the time. We have 15 stops before we get to UC at 12. And at 12, we’re up there for a couple hours. I have customers I’ve had for 10, 15 years down here. And there might be four or five people that go there everyday. I know there’s a steady income, and I enjoy the people.
What’s the best thing about owning your own food truck?
Doing your own thing. You’re your own boss. The bad things about it are you’re your own boss. You can’t call yourself up and go, “Ahhh, I don’t wanna make it today!”
Have you visited food truck scenes in other cities?
I’ve eaten off a couple trucks and enjoyed it, but I’ve never gone to the big events. It’s worldwide now. It’s crazy. I’ve been in Cambria, and they had a truck. I went over there, not to compare anything—just more from convenience. The other ones—I’m sure the food’s really good, but a little bit gourmet for me. I’m not really used to that.
What inspires you?
Money—no. This keeps me alive. I’m almost 60. Waking up at 4:30 in the morning’s the hardest part, but once we get going, it’s one of the better jobs you could have. People are smiling when they leave the truck. I probably laugh more than anybody at any job.