Hey! We’re Chef Emily Leonard and Beth Milne, founders of Casero Taco Bus Inc. We’re Owen Sound natives and despite having left the area time after time, there has always been a continuous draw back to Grey County for the both of us. It is home, it is steeped in traditions, it is where our families live, it is a place with our favourite hangouts and it is an area we’ve always seen as being full of potential for growth.
Emily has been cooking since she was old enough to handle an ingredient. Foraging goods from a young age at her childhood home in Rockford she has never not been expanding her culinary horizons. After working in kitchens in Montreal and Toronto her life brought her back to Grey County.
Beth came into the industry from a serving standpoint and possessing an affinity for Mexican food and Mezcal after living in Taxco for a year out of high school.
When we were both coincidentally going to lay some roots down in our hometown, we knew we had to try and give it a go on our own. Having a business here allows us to enjoy the riches of grey all year round although we do still kick it down to Mexico a couple of times a year to keep up on that love, influence and inspiration.
Here’s our story:
We bought an old double decker bus on Kijiji with the end goal of creating a local food business that would bring tacos to Sauble Beach.
With the success of the Taco Bus, we pioneered a project at the Owen Sound Farmers Market utilizing the facility as a test market to see if our taco concept would fly year-round in our hometown. It turns out people were into it.
Our ambition has always been to bring our appreciation of Mexican food home and give the people of Owen Sound and the surrounding area, culinary diversity. Grey County is brimming with local food producers which we love to leverage to create our menus and bring regional style to the dishes we’ve been inspired to make throughout our travels.
Our menu is supported by local food producers through Eat Local, FeastON and personal connections. We source product through Persephone Market Garden, Sideroad Farm, Donald’s Honey, Moore’s Meats, Wylie’s Mycologicals, Creamery Hill, Ravenwood Farm, Emerald Grasslands, and Howell’s Fish.
We also, serve a variety of agave based cocktails and a selection of beers from local breweries including Macleans, Kilannan, Sidelaunch, Beau’s, Black Bellows, Cowbell, Brimstone, Woodhouse, and cider from Duxbury.
Charring is an indispensable component of Mexican cooking, and it’s a technique we brought home and use at Casero.
The smell in Mercado 20 de Noviembre, a food market we visit in Oaxaca City is unreal.
Little known fact, we make our own Chicharon at Casero from local pig skin. This shot was snapped at one of our favourite markets in CDMX, Mercado Medellin.
We offer a #brisketprogram for holiday weekends, as well as occasionally throughout the year. Our cooking process is 5 days from start to finish, and provide ready to heat beef brisket for our customers. This program developed from a love of smoking meat and it warms our hearts to know that Casero brisket has made its way into Grey County family traditions.
We truly feel at home in the wonderful County of Grey. This is part of the team out at the gorgeous Coffin Ridge Winery. Since beginning the Taco Bus, we’ve grown to employ 20 – 35 people throughout the seasons; none of this would be possible without them.
This October we will be heading to the hills in Oaxaca once again to further immerse ourselves in the Mezcal culture. The time-honoured tradition is simply fascinating and we just can’t get enough. While exploring and broadening our culinary skills around Mexican cuisine, we also look forward to coming home and sharing what we’ve learned through our food with our Grey County community.