The Taco Truck That Spawned an Empire


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Kogi didn’t take off overnight. After Choi’s friend and Kogi partner (eight people run the company) Mark Manguera came up with the idea of mashing up Korean BBQ and Mexican tacos, the Kogi truck began heaving through the streets of L.A. It was slow going at first, more a curiosity than anything else. But then one night in December of 2008, the truck pulled up outside the UCLA dorms during finals.

“We were out on the streets,” Choi says. “Alice (Shin) was in Brooklyn doing her thing. She’s a member of Kogi. She did our blogs. She was running our Twitter at the time. She still is. The rest of us were out here. We only had one smartphone at the time, so we were sharing that. And we were just driving from spot to spot. We didn’t know anyone was listening to us out there; we were just posting stuff…

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