How a passion for nachos has turned into a booming business
A PASSION for Mexican food and cooking has taken Frank and Mandy Shanks a long way.
The couple launched El Papas food van just two years ago and have already purchased the site for their new permanent takeaway store.
Mrs Shanks said she never dreamed the business would take off with such a bang.
"I loved making nachos and tacos and Frank would make amazing Mexican pizzas," she said.
"There was a lot of buzz around food vans at the time and we were having a few beers one night and just decided, why not?
"We came across a van that was for sale not long after and it all just went from there."
Business has been booming since day one.
The Shanks have been invited to serve their food at events across the region nearly every weekend and say customers have been begging for a permanent store for months.
Now, the couple can finally deliver what the public is asking for.
"We've wanted to open a takeaway store for a while, but now just felt like the right time," Mrs Shanks said.
"Andergrove needs more takeaway options and we will be offering a huge range of great Mexican-inspired meals and desserts.
"We will still operate the food van but will probably need to be more selective with what events we attend so that we can focus on the shop."
El Papas is known for its nachos, tacos, enchiladas, hotdogs and churros, but the menu at the new takeaway store will be twice as big.
Some of the new offerings include smoked corn brisket, milkshakes with whipped cream and churros, Mexican coffee, key lime pie, choc-chilli brownies and Frank's signature pizzas.
"My pizzas have a super thin base and we use shredded meat on top with salsa," Mr Shanks said.
"They are not like any other pizza you've ever tasted. They are definitely my signature dish, I've been making them for years."
Mr Shanks is a plumber by trade but is looking forward to trading the tools for the kitchen.
"I'd like this business to be a full-time job eventually," he said.
"If this store goes well, we would love to expand and open another store across the other side of town."
Mr and Mrs Shanks plan to have their takeaway store up and running by late August.
El Papas will be located at Andergrove Central, next to Alcorns Bakery.
Keep updated on the opening date by checking the El Papas Facebook page.