Former MasterChef quarter-finalist Hannah Gregory, of Bury St Edmunds, hopes to open taqueria at the Pizzashed site behind the Beerhouse pub
A former MasterChef quarter-finalist is hoping to raise more than £25,000 to open a new taqueria in a Suffolk town.
Hannah Gregory, of Bury St Edmunds, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to open TACOR at the Pizzashed site behind The Beerhouse in the town.
After having her first proper taco in Tulum, Mexico, in 2019, Hannah has become obsessed with Mexican food and has undergone a culinary awakening over the last few years.
This included producing something taco-related for both her audition and signature dishes on MasterChef in 2020.
She said: “It was honestly never my intention to become a Mexican food chef as such, but someone who just really loves Mexican food, so this is a super exciting opportunity for me.
“Every time I launched a supper club or did takeaways during lockdown, it was always the Mexican ones that sold out and people went crazy for.
“The way Kickstarter works is that if the target isn’t reached, everyone that has bid gets refunded so it’s very much all or nothing but I’m hoping people believe in what I am looking to create.
“I am aware that my target is high and that’s the minimum amount needed to get this off the ground, but I truly believe this will be something built by the community, for the community.”
Through the Kickstarter, people can bid on items such as opening party tickets and supper clubs as well as some other surprises.
The taqueria will replace the Pizzashed, in Tayfen Road, which opens its doors for the last time on February 10.
Formerly a creative director for Boardmasters Festival, Hannah was presented with the opportunity to introduce a new eatery in the space six months ago by the landlord.
She has been organising a potential opening for TACOR ever since.
“I would say I’m feeling equal measures of excitement and terror,” Hannah said.
“My partner is probably going to leave me soon if I don’t stop having mood swings over how I'm feeling about it all, but I am really looking forward to it.
“I am leaning on my previous career as an event designer to create something truly beautiful and in turn create more than just an eatery but a destination and I’m confident my attention to detail and creative flair will really bring this to life.
“With the Kickstarter, I really want it to feel like a community based offering and a real kind of hub and place to be for people to meet and socialise, as well as have really good fun.”
The TACOR menu, which will change monthly, will consist of meat, fish and vegetarian options including dishes like Hannah’s signature chipotle and mole short rib tacos alongside sides such as topos and lots more.
Seasonal market-led specials will also be on offer which will have some more non traditional dishes such as venison tacos and kimchi quesadillas.
Hannah is aiming to work with local suppliers, growers and producers wherever possible and will be growing as many chillies and herbs as possible from her garden in Bury.
She has been grateful for all the support she has received so far and believes adding a taqueria would benefit the town further.
“The foodie community in Bury is so supportive and I've been discussing it with a few of the local chefs and who I know in the industry and they've said to go for it,” said Hannah.
“I think given the location and the opportunity to piggyback onto the Beerhouse as well, it could be a real draw for people.
“Bury is such a hotspot of independent eateries that adding another one to the mix can only be a good thing and continue to develop this town as a foodie destination.”