Furgourmet: The history of a Spanish street food pioneer.

A Mercedes-Benz food truck is parked in a square while lots of people are waiting in line

When Rubén and Esther realize that they are no longer happy with their lives in Brazil, they decide to make a fresh start. They find happiness in their old home country, Spain – with two Mercedes-Benz L 319 and a unique business idea.

An important phone call.

Rubén pushes the heavy glass door open with both hands. While he is standing in front of a huge skyscraper and looking at it, he begins to ponder. The well-known maxim of “the pursuit for happiness”, runs through his mind. With his wife Esther, he once moved from Spain to Brazil because they assumed it was paradise. And he accepted job in a bank that allowed him to do anything he fancied outside the office. But is that really what he and Esther have always wanted? Lost in thought, he enters a taxi and dials a number. “Esther, is it you?”, he asks a little bit later. After less than five minutes, the conversation is finished and one thing has become clear: Together with Esther, he will begin a new life. Ruben takes off his tie and grins. If everything goes well, very soon he will not need it any more.

A man is standing in a van

At first it was not clear to Rubén and Esther what their future life might look like.

The search for happiness.

“At the time it became clear to us that we were lacking something fundamental. Therefore, we wanted to invest our time and energy to start a project of our own, something concrete”, says Rubén. From then on, they used most of their free time to make plans. What might their future life concept look like? How could this project come into being? Time and again, the young couple come across the same idea: How wonderful would it be to return to our homeland, Spain, and take a piece of Brazil with us. “As we loved the Brazilian kitchen even then and had just seen our first food truck, we came to a conclusion”, relates Esther. Their plan is to sell Brazilian food out of a van. And to do it in Spain.

A Mercedes-Benz food truck is parked in a hall

Rubén and Esther became obsessed with the idea of a food truck while they were still in Brazil.

A unique idea.

As passionate, but non-professional chefs, Rubén and Esther then visit some street food fairs. This turns out to be quite a sobering experience: “Our culinary level simply did not suffice to offer the desired service”, explains Rubén. However, after some deliberation, both of them come to the conclusion that this could be the very key to success. “It was our dream to do something special, something unique. We did not see ourselves so much as chefs, but rather as organizers of the project”, says Esther. This gives rise to an unusual idea: The couple wants to launch Spain’s first and only rental service for Brazilian street food trucks. And with this idea in mind, they return to Europe.

A woman is standing in a food truck

Despite the disillusionment they experienced at the street food fairs, Esther does not want to give up on her dream of having her own food truck.

Back in Europe.

Soon after their arrival in Madrid, Rubén and Esther get the ball rolling: From the outset, they narrow their search for suitable vehicles. “We wanted the vans to reflect the uniqueness of our projects also in terms of their visual appearance”, explains Esther. Therefore, the married couple focussed mainly on old vintage trucks. “Suddenly a wonderful Mercedes-Benz L 319 appeared before us. It was so different from everything we had seen so far that we bought it immediately”, enthuses Rubén. One year later, when they came across a second L 319, their great vision suddenly became reality.

Two Mercedes-Benz L 319 are positioned side by side

The two Mercedes-Benz L 319 are Rubén’s and Esther’s pride and joy.

The beginnings.

However, in the beginning the condition of the two vans was not good enough to serve as a fully functional food truck fleet. The age of the vehicles turned their restoration into a real challenge. Therefore, the married couple sought professional assistance. The most difficult part of the conversion was lifting the roof. “We simply had to create more height in the van in order to enable professional cooking”, says Rubén. Some time later, the big moment had finally come: Rubén and Esther called the cherry-red L 319 “Cherry”, the dark brown van “Browny” and their project “Furgourmet”. “Fur” means “van” in Spanish and “gourmet” stands for the gastronomic standard we have, explains Esther proudly. It is the launch of Spain’s first and only rental service for Brazilian street food trucks and Rubén’s and Esther’s happy ending without end.

A brown Mercedes-Benz L 319 on an avenue

Rubén and Esther have given “Browny” a new colour.

A dark red Mercedes-Benz L 319 is parked in front of trees

Rubén and Esther have maintained the original colour of their dark red L 319 named “Cherry”.

The Mercedes-Benz star on a red bonnet

Rubén and Esther are the proud owners of two Mercedes-Benz classicvehicles.

A brown food truck is parked in front of a wall

With their nostalgic appearance, Furgourmet’s food trucks are special, not only in Spain.

The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.

Photos: Rubén & Esther

More Links to explore: furgourmet.com@Instagram, @Facebook, @Twitter

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