News Walthamstow

UK’s ‘top Mexican takeaway’ closing Walthamstow home

The owners are now on the hunt for a new, larger home
By Victoria Munro

Homies on Donkeys opened in Wood Street's indoor market in 2017 (credit: Homies on Donkeys)
Homies on Donkeys opened in Wood Street’s indoor market in 2017 (credit: Homies on Donkeys)

A competition-winning Walthamstow taqueria will close this month – but is on the hunt for a new, larger home.

Homies on Donkeys, run by husband and wife team Erik “Smokey” Bautista and Sandra Bello, opened in Wood Street’s indoor market in 2017.

Earlier this year, they competed on BBC2 show Britain’s Top Takeaways, earning the title of the UK’s “top Mexican takeaway” after beating four other hopefuls.

Their “tiny but mighty” space in the market will serve its last taco on 23rd December but they were keen to reassure fans that “this isn’t goodbye”.

In a post on Facebook, they wrote: “After five and a half years of an incredible adventure of learning, growth and building community[…] this wasn’t an easy call to make. 

“It’s really tough to call it a day knowing that all of you have come along for this incredible ride with us and, above all, we want you to know how incredibly grateful we are for your love and support.

“But this is not the end – and we’ll need your support big time! We are closing because we’ve outgrown our spot in the market. And despite the current climate, we want to take on a new adventure, so we’re on the search for our next home.”

This story is published by Waltham Forest Echo, Waltham Forest's free monthly newspaper and free news website. We are a not-for-profit publication, published by a small social enterprise. We have no rich backers and rely on the support of our readers. Donate or become a supporter.

Erik and Sandra on Britain’s Top Takeaways (credit: BBC2/Ricochet)

Sandra and Erik were both born in Mexico City and lived in Tihuana, a northern city close to California, before moving to London in 2014. Their specials board often features Baja cuisine, popular in California, due to their shared love of seafood.

Sandra previously told the Echo that, when they first opened their restaurant in 2017, Mexican food was not nearly as popular in the UK as it is today.

She said: “We were not sure if it was going to work because Wood Street was totally different then but we took a little risk and put our savings into it. 

“We were really lucky because that year the new apartment blocks started being built and, within 18 months, the area had completely changed.

“From the get-go, the reception from locals was amazing and it has continued to be that way all this time. People are supportive and keep telling their friends about us.”

She added that they hoped their televised win would help them achieve their long-held dream of expanding, adding that the pair “definitely want to stay in Walthamstow”.

Visit Homies on Donkeys at Unit 38 Wood Street Indoor Market from 12-5pm Tuesday to Saturday or order them online here.

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