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Danny Trejo Says His Growing Taco Empire Could Be Worth $100 Million Soon

Plus an update on where they’re expanding next

Trejo’s Tacos on La Brea
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Things keep growing fast over at Trejo’s Tacos, with the team gearing up for the inevitable launch of their first true spinoff soon: Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts. But don’t worry, the tacos aren’t going anywhere. In fact, according to a new piece out in Forbes, Trejo and his business partners are eyeing the kind of expansion and vertical integration in their supply chain that could hopefully net them a $100 million valuation.

The big-thinking Danny Trejo sat down alongside partners Ash Shah and Jeff Georgino to talk with Forbes about plans for their growing restaurant empire, which started just about a year ago with the launch of their first location on La Brea. Since then the Machete star has put his name to a cantina in the heart of Hollywood and a roaming food truck that does one-off catering events and occasional site visits around town. The company’s store on Virgil near Silver Lake is still in the works too. So what’s next?

Among other things, a craft beer enterprise. Right now, Trejo’s Tacos has a contract out for beer bearing their name to be made specifically for the restaurants, but ultimately the plan, says Georgino, is to take all those small items in-house. He says:

We saw this as a bigger opportunity than just a restaurant. We’re now at a point where we have a have someone brew our own beer and we’re looking at having a brewery of our own, a Mexican microbrewery but here in LA. We manufacture our own hot sauce, we pick our own coffee beans and have them roasted for us so we see a retail play, a restaurant play...

Trejo's Tacos
Trejo's Tacos
Farley Elliott

Trejo says the team is also already eager to expand their overall concepts locally, and mention plans to put a Trejo’s Tacos at the University of Southern California, likely in the same USC Village complex that is beefing up with a bunch of other names including one Sunset Boulevard cafe expansion. After that will come Pasadena, though they don’t provide a particular location in the piece.

And from there, Georgino thinks the sky’s the limit, really. Because the company is privately funded the plan is to forego early profits for bigger money down the line, he says, including a ton of future outside investment that could see the brand scale to massive heights. What will that look like? He says:

We’ll also look to bring on investors because for the next stage of growth it will take a much larger chunk of money and we want to build a $100 million-plus business. When we started this it wasn’t about having a handful of restaurants in LA that could generate $10 million, it was building a national business.

Heck, Anthony Bourdain just ate there and gave it a thumbs up, so the place certainly feels as though they’re doing something right these days. And with the enduring popularity of tacos and Trejo himself, it may well be that a $100 million valuation is not far off.

Trejo's Tacos

1048 S LA Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019 (323) 938-8226