WINTERVILLE — Taqueria Tere is adding some spice to Winterville’s motto — A Slice of the Good Life — by offering authentic Mexican cuisine.

The eatery began as a dream of owner’s Teresa De Gonzalez, who owned and operated a taqueria shop in Mexico before her move to Greene County.

Her dream came to fruition on Sept. 2, 2019, after her family transformed an old convenience store in Fort Run into Taqueria Tere.

The businesses encountered success, but it was in a rented space. De Gonzalez and her family wanted to own their building and began seeking other options.

Her son and Taqueria Tere manager, Jorge Gonzales-Flores, discovered the building at 2600 Railroad St. for sale in Winterville.

“The town is very beautiful. What really got me was, it was a corner building on a Main Street,” Jorge said, adding he took his mother to see the building.

“She stood outside and saw how busy the Main Street was. She said go put in an offer,” Jorge said.

The family closed the Fort Run location in July 2019 and opened its doors on June 21 in Winterville. The delay was partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions set in place, Jorge said.

In true taqueria fashion, Taqueria Tere offers three main courses.

“In our country, taqueria is different than a restaurant,” Jorge said. “The menu is really simple. You don’t carry entrees like in a Mexican restaurant. In Mexico, taquerias are more like fast food. You walk into the taqueria, sit at a bar, order your food. … It’s a quick transaction.”

Customers have a choice between tacos, tortas and quesadillas.

“A torta is essentially a hot sandwich thrown over the griddle with the choice of one of the three proteins we offer. It has lettuce, tomato, queso fresco and sour cream,” Jorge said.

Customers choose between three proteins: pollo or chicken, asada or steak and barbacoa or barbecue beef. The barbacoa remains one of their best sellers, Jorge said.

Tacos are topped with cilantro and onions.

Customers can choose between red salsa which is spicy, verde salsa which is mild and guac salsa. Lime slices are also served with the tacos helping to increase their flavors.

Since making their move, the taqueria has been welcomed in the Winterville community, the owners said.

“When Mom and I decided to move to Winterville, we were very worried about how accepting a new town would be to us,” Jorge said. “We prayed about it. This town has shown so much love to us and so much appreciation for bringing authentic food.

“The Gonzales family, we’re very grateful and very appreciative of this town and how they’ve opened up to a new authentic cuisine from Mexico,” Jorge said.

“It’s been amazing,” He said. “The town of Winterville has shown so much love to us both in person and on Facebook.”

Town officials said they were happy to have the new business move in.

“Winterville is extremely lucky and blessed that Taqueria Tere chose to locate in downtown Winterville,” said Stephen Penn, Winterville’s economic developer. “A food/lunch option was an ideal addition to our exiting list of downtown businesses. We love having another unique food magnet as a downtown attraction and an authentic taco shop like Taqueria Tere was exactly what we needed to build onto our existing options.”

The location on Main Street has also provided the tacqueria with more foot traffic, including patrons from Winterville’s local breweries.

“We are getting traffic in the afternoon from Local Oak and Nauti Dog as their customers walk from one brewery to the other. They stop by and get dinner,” Jorge said. “I think we our both helping grow one another.”

Penn agreed.

“Our downtown has changed significantly over the past few years and is growing into a super unique area with complementary businesses,” he said.

The business employs four including De Gonzalez, Jorge, and De Gonzalez’s daughter Teresa Gonzalez-Flores. Jorge and Teresa Gonzalez-Flores work part-time at Vidant Medical Center as nursing assistants.

Taqueria Tere is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Saturday. The taqueria is take-out only and accepts cash and cards.

Contact Donna Marie Williams at dwilliams@ncweeklies.com.