Caprice Gouveia is living proof that sometimes a set back puts you further ahead.
She and her husband Eric had been operating Tukee’s Tamales out of their Ahwatukee home last fall, serving up take-out orders of Mexican cuisine she made herself, based on old-Mexico recipes she inherited from her grandmother.
Then, in November, the county Health Department told her she had to close her business because she didn’t have the right permits.
“We took 3 months off restructured our business and have all the needed permits – a Class 4 permit, I may add, which is the highest in food permits. We bought more equipment and so now we will have a pop up location/concession stand every Friday night here in Ahwatukee,” Caprice said.
Thanks to Desert Dentistry, which gave her permission, the Gouveias now set up their portable take-out restaurant 4:30-8:30 p.m. every Friday at 4609 E. Chandler Blvd., Ahwatukee.
“We have a huge tent, lights, music and table for people to eat,” she said.
Moreover, she added, “We are also permitted through the entire Maricopa County for any events, festivals and farmers markets. So I guess they did us a favor.”
And she and her husband have added catering to the business.
Gouveia said she has been reaching out to as many people as possible through social media, and she sends out an email blast to announce each week’s menu, which regularly changes.
“Every Sunday a new menu is released,” she said. “You will have till Wednesday at 9 p.m. to place your pre-order. A confirmation with your payment and pick up details will be sent to you on Thursday. So, after a long hectic week on Friday, people can treat themselves to a delicious homemade dinner prepared authentically and with lots of love.”
In addition to the special dinners, Gouveia also has some extra items available on a first-come, first-served basis, including elote, flan and salsa.
“We are working on a web page with an ordering system to make things easier,” she added.
The one thing that has not changed is Gouveia’s mission.
“I've spent the 30 years in the kitchen,” she explained. “My goal is for people to feel my passion of cooking through my dishes. I love sharing my Hispanic heritage with the community. I want them to feel like they're in a small village in Mexico when they're eating our food.”