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New Haverhill takeaway is offering something a little different




The vibrant colours displayed on a new food truck in Haverhill have, like the choices on the menu, already attracted a healthy number of customers curious to find out what it has to offer.

Lá Chiquitas opened last Saturday outside the front of Practical Car and Van Rental in Sturmer Arches, where it will operate every day except Sunday.

The truck was the idea of Ines Gomes, 21, who has enlisted the help – and culinary knowledge – of her mum Zaida Valadas to help her run it on a daily basis.

Ines Gomes with her mum Zaida Valadas at their new takeaway in Haverhill, Lá Chiquitas. Picture by Mark Westley
Ines Gomes with her mum Zaida Valadas at their new takeaway in Haverhill, Lá Chiquitas. Picture by Mark Westley

The duo moved to Haverhill from Lisbon, Portugal, 17 years ago, and it is their homeland, together with Mexico, that provides the inspiration for the menu.

Even the truck itself hails from Portugal, having been built in Porto.

Ines said: “We were on holiday a few years ago and I said, if we had a street food stall we could work together.

Ines Gomes with her mum Zaida Valadas at their new takeaway in Haverhill, Lá Chiquitas. Picture by Mark Westley
Ines Gomes with her mum Zaida Valadas at their new takeaway in Haverhill, Lá Chiquitas. Picture by Mark Westley

“I started my business and I asked my mum to join me.”

Ines had the truck customised in Portugal to her own design and it came over to Haverhill earlier this year, but only now have they been given the chance to put it to use, thanks to the offer from Practical to use its car park.

“I thought of something different and I wanted bright colours to draw attention to us,” said Ines. “It is green, yellow and red, like you get on the Portuguese flag.”

The menu includes traditional Portuguese and Mexican dishes with a few twists – with the daily soup offering on the menu made fresh, as is everything,every morning and the meat bought every night in preparation for the next day.

Trade was brisk on the opening day as word got about through Lá Chiquitas’ Facebook page and word of mouth, as Ines explained: “I was pretty surprised. It was really packed.”

Zaida, who has five other children aside from Ines, will be a familiar face to many in Haverhill.

She had a stall on the market selling cakes for four years, before then running Portuguese Dreams Café in High Street for four years.

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