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BizBeat: Burrito business expands, takes on new space

BizBeat: Burrito business expands, takes on new space

November 4th, 2018 by Philip Joens in Business

Julie Smith/News Tribune Amanda Jensen, owner of La Chica Loca, poses in the REO Feedwagon she uses in the early morning hours to serve breakfast burritos until 10 a.m. The food trailer is located in the parking lot of The Bridge, which is off the alley way behind 619 E. High St.

When Amanda Jensen's business relocated from 202 E. High St. in mid-October, she said she felt a warm hollowness.

Jensen launched her breakfast burrito business, quit her job and made some friends in just three short months working in the space. As she packed up her business and left the structure, she looked at the opportunity that laid ahead of her.

"Part of success is finding the good parts and looking into the bad parts when you make that jump," she said. "It was a rough move, but we made it through."

In July, Jensen launched La Chica Loca, a local breakfast burrito delivery service. The business took off much faster than she expected. As Jensen left the space her business shared with two other small businesses at 202 E. High St., she said she felt alone, but happy to be on her own.

Jensen and her husband moved to Jefferson City four years ago from Colorado. In July, she started La Chica Loca because she missed Colorado-style breakfast burritos, which smother burritos in green chilies.

La Chica Loca shared the space at 202 E. High St. with Love2Nourish, which makes pre-made meals with gluten-free, low-sodium and low-carb ingredients, and MO Juice, which makes bottled juices from fresh fruits and vegetables.

Each of the businesses moved to separate new locations in mid-October after city officials found the building to be dangerous because it shares a wall with a partially-collapsed building at 200 E. High St.

While working in the space, Jensen learned how to build a business from Love2Nourish owner Laurel Dunwoody and Mo Juice owner Cori Busby.

"When you start a business, you're not just starting a business, you're creating a life," Jensen said. "When you're a small-business owner, you're just hanging around. Having a positive attitude is a good thing and they both had that."

La Chica Loca delivered burritos, and Jensen also sold burritos at Three Story Coffee's Millbottom location on Wednesday mornings. Within a month of launching the venture, the business grew to the point where Jensen had to quit her job managing marketing accounts for restaurants in Vail, Colorado, to pursue her new business full-time.

As La Chica Loca grew, Jensen began experimenting and adding things to her menu in subtle ways. When she opened her revamped business Thursday, she added low-carb burritos and burritos for vegans made with green chili peppers. Soon, Jensen hopes to add scrambled tofu to her menu.

On Thursday morning, La Chica Loca opened at its new location in the REO Feedwagon food trailer at The Bridge at 619 E. Capitol Ave. Each week, La Chica Loca will be open from 7-10 a.m. Monday through Friday behind The Bridge. Three Story Coffee will also sell pre-made burritos on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at its Millbottom location, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays at its Dunklin Street location.

Customers can also order burritos for delivery with at least one day's notice by contacting Jensen by email at chicalocamo@gmail.com, through the company's Facebook page or by phone at 573-338-2656.

Know of any business happenings in or around Jefferson City? Let us know at bizbeat@newstribune.com.