Five years ago, in the spring of 2006, Ariel Del Rosario was given an assignment to create a business plan in one of his MBA classes at the University of Alberta. For some students the task was merely another hurdle to jump over. For Del Rosario, it was an opportunity to set a dream of owning a successful business into motion.
One year later, what emerged from the assignment was one of the first food trucks to open in Edmonton. In fact, when his kitchen-in-a-truck parked itself downtown to serve Filipino barbeque food under the moniker Filistix, many potential customers were cautious of the novel food option. Del Rosario and his business partner, however, remained optimistic that his business would become successful in time.
“In every other culture, there was some sort of street food culture that existed,” Del Rosario explains. “I realized that in [Edmonton] it’s a seasonal business, and you can only operate in May through October. But there’s all this street food culture elsewhere. So we said ‘Why don’t we bring it to Edmonton, and see what happens?’ We saw it as an opportunity to make a bit of money, but also as an opportunity to introduce a little bit of street food culture at the downtown core.”
Del Rosario is the first to admit that none of this would have been possible without the help of MacEwan University. That’s where Del Rosario first learned foundational knowledge in business, while also honing his entrepreneurial spirit.
Frustrated in the workforce after graduating high school, Del Rosario realized that he needed to pursue a post-secondary education if he was going to achieve his goal of being a successful businessperson. So, in 2001, the Edmonton native decided to enroll in the Asia Pacific Management diploma program at MacEwan University. As it turns out, it was a pivotal decision that paved the way for a thriving career as an entrepreneur.
After graduating from MacEwan University, Del Rosario went on to purse an MBA at the University of Alberta. It was there that he further developed his skills as an entrepreneur and started his company.
“I’d never thought about it that way, but it’s definitely been a long journey,” Del Rosario says. “Originally, we wanted to provide healthy alternatives in terms of healthy food options in Edmonton’s food trucks. We wanted to change the way people thought about food trucks. Now, we want to see how far we can expand in the next few years.”
By Matt Hirji