miguel cooking toronto

Toronto man who has a day job as an engineer selling Mexican food as a side hustle

Someone who studied and worked as an engineer in Mexico now sees a future without a boss as he starts up his own side hustle selling churros he makes using a decades-old family recipe.

Miguel Angel Garcia arrived in Canada in 2016, after marrying his Canadian wife in December 2014. They'd been living in Mexico City for four years, and she wanted to return here.

In Mexico, Garcia studied at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and worked as a drug regulatory affairs specialist. In Canada, he worked at a small soap company before his daughter Quetzali was born in July 2019. He's also a bass player on the side.

His wife had gotten a good opportunity for her career in content marketing, so took just six months of maternity leave. Rather than send their new baby to daycare, Garcia started working from home part time doing a minimum wage administrative job.

"When my baby was sleeping less and being more demanding I decided to quit to take care of her full time," Garcia tells blogTO. "I do enjoy to take care of her, feed her and see her grow."

Though time constraints are tight, Garcia couldn't ignore his longing for a familiar taste of home.

"October 2021 there was a day that I was feeling very home sick and I was craving churros very badly so I decided to make some," says Garcia. "I started looking for an affordable churro machine to make them at home but I didn't find something suitable so I built my own."

After months, he felt he finally got his vegan churros right at the beginning of 2022.

"Since I arrived to Canada I've been trying to recreate the flavours from home," says Garcia. "I've been flirting with the idea of doing YouTube cooking for years but I felt that I wasn't good enough. After these years I've been perfecting my cooking skills and learning video and audio production."

He makes the churros and sells the churros from home every weekend when his wife and mother-in-law can help with the baby, though he also cooks every day at home, recording quick videos to post to social media.

Garcia starting out selling just 30 churros and has been steadily increasing production, and has sold as many as 1oo in a day by now.

Garcia's churros are very crunchy and a bit different from the ones you commonly find in Toronto. They're based on his dad's recipe that he used for over 43 years at his churro business in Mexico (Churreria Delia) where he worked since the age of 15, and which his youngest sister Rosa runs to this day.

"For me they're the best because it's the flavour of my childhood," says Garcia. "I've tested the product with Mexicans living in Toronto and Canadians in my neighbourhood and I'm receiving very good feedback."

He's selling the churros for $1.50, and is rotating in some of his mom's recipes like tamales, pozole, carnitas, birria and tacos dorados for his weekend pop-ups as well. You can send him a message on Instagram to place an order.

Garcia is hoping his next steps are to focus on pop-ups and farmers markets, saving money to buy professional equipment, renting a kitchen space to use on weekends, and working on a scratch Mexican cooking YouTube channel as well as his social media presence.

Ultimately, he wants to get a brick and mortar space, but for now you can follow him on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook @migueliscooking.

"I really don't see myself having a boss anymore," says Garcia. "It's more fun to build something I love."

Lead photo by

Miguel Angel Garcia

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