With a whoop and a hearty arm pump, Rosa Guthrie celebrated the news she will continue to operate her taco stand out of Blackburn Park pending formal approval from city council.
“Mayor Marty’s still got to sign it, but we’ve got a deal,” said the enthusiastic propritor.
“I’m excited, I’m happy and I want to say thank you to all the customers who come here, support me and who spoke up for me. I guess the mayor got the message.”
Dale McTaggart, the city’s engineering and public works director, confirmed the city has negotiated a tentative agreement with Guthrie for a four-year lease term. The deal won’t be final, however, until council gives formal approval at the next meeting.
For the past nine years between April and October, Guthrie has operated her taco stand out of the city-owned concession at the park. The building, however, is scheduled for retirement, as a new building will be constructed along with the other renovations at the park.
Despite her history, Guthrie had to compete for the lease in the new facility through a request for proposal (RFP) process.
Mayor Marty Bootsma said this was to be fair to the business community and also noted that the city was looking for an extended variety of menu items to be available from the new concession, pointing to hamburgers, hot dogs and ice cream as popular selections.
But Guthrie was unwilling to diversify away from her Mexican selections, noting her food is fresh, natural and nutritious.
Plenty of people reacted to the news of Guthrie’s dilemma with messages of support and business has been brisk as people also showed their support by filling their bellies with fajitas and burritos.
In a posting on the Observer’s webiste, Brett Hagardt was one of many expressing their desire to see Rosa’s remain.
“Sad that making it ‘fair’ to other businesses means watering down authentic, excellent food to make way for typical concession grease. I’ve been to ball parks around the province and Rosa’s was a more than a pleasant surprise.”
This was echoed by another posting by Kmed stating,
“Every time we have visitors from out of town it’s a given that we take them to what we refer to as the amazing taco stand. They all agree it’s the best burrito they’ve had outside of Mexico. We are very lucky as a community to have such a unique and tasty food option. Lets hope our mayor and city council get it right for once.”
Guthrie says she is delighted by the support and welcomes customers old and new.
“We’re open extra hours over the Roots and Blues Weekend, until 10 or 11 p.m. all weekend long. Come, eat, enjoy.”