TikTok influencer left a $1K tip. Now, this San Diego taco vendor is busier than ever

Natallie Rocha, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Business News

A week ago, Teodoro Jimenez would bring in about $400 on a good day selling tacos from his pop-up tent on South 43rd Street in San Diego's Shelltown neighborhood near National City. That changed after his business, Blue Fire Bliss, went viral on TikTok this week, and now he's busier than ever.

There's no shortage of places to get tacos and carne asada fries in San Diego, but many people came to this one because of a TikTok made by Jesús Morales, a social media influencer who lives in the neighborhood.

In the TikTok, Morales offers to pay for any tacos Jimenez sells within the hour — which amounted to about $600 worth of food. He then offers a $1,000 cash tip and Jimenez is stunned. Then, Jimenez starts to cry as he explains how this money will help him reach his goal of buying a food truck.

Morales, who is known as "juixxe" online, uses his social media platform to help Southern California street vendors. In previous interviews, Morales said that as a child of Mexican immigrants, he wants to give back to street vendors — many of whom are immigrants.

His videos have featured people selling elote, grilled Mexican street corn, at a foldable table, a man selling produce from the trunk of his car and folks selling paletas from a pushcart. They all have a common thread of Morales giving large cash tips and bringing attention to these street entrepreneurs.

Morales started giving away money during the pandemic and has said he raises funds from his 3.6 million TikTok followers to support street vendors. He's also done these giveaways through sponsorship with big brands like Cricket Wireless.


It's not abnormal for his TikToks to get millions of views, but something about Jimenez struck a chord with online viewers.

Within 24 hours, the TikTok of Blue Fire Bliss had millions of views. By Friday it was just shy of 6 million views. Morales also started a GoFundMe to help Jimenez raise money for a food truck.

"I started this gofundme to help Teodoro (taco stand vendor) make his dream come true of having a food truck!" he wrote on the GoFundMe page. "Food trucks are rather expensive so I've set the goal to $50,000 but hopefully we can raise more for his truck."

The 49-year-old entrepreneur's taco stand is in the parking lot of a liquor store on the corner of North Highland Avenue and Epsilon Street. Sales have quadrupled and the other night they brought in a little over $1,400 in sales.


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