Antelope Valley

This 14-Year-Old Palmdale Boy Built an Elotero Cart to Help His Family and Save Money for College

While sitting in his engineering class at Palmdale High School, David Martinez was inspired to make his own street food cart

David Martinez is a 14-year-old Palmdale boy who is all about street food: elotes, raspados, duritos.

David, though, is not like most teenagers who like the popular street food and go running when they hear the cart full of Mexican-style street food coming around the corner. David sells corn on the cob lathered with mayo and cheese called elotes, shaved ice with colored flavored syrup called raspados, and a wheat snack with chili and lime called duritos.

"This is the best," a customer says as he gets ready to devour his raspado. "You got to get this, or elote, or both!"

While sitting in his engineering class at Palmdale High School, David’s love for selling treats sparked an idea.

"I started designing a cart, and that's how I got my cart right here," Davis says proudly, as he stands in front of a cart he built.

David didn't just stop at making the cart, however.

"I peel it. I make the elotes. Sometimes my mom helps me," the 14-year-old says when discussing the food preparation involved in stocking his cart to serve people looking for a delicious snack or shaved ice treat to combat the Antelope Valley summer heat.

David walks through his neighborhood or parks his cart in the shade for about eight hours, as temperatures regularly hit triple digits in Palmdale.

One day, a fellow classmate came to the cart and did a double-take when he recognized David as a fellow schoolmate.

"It was like, 'Whoa!'" Adrian Nowak says. "The majority people that I see [at the carts], they're older. But he was like, 'Oh I'm just trying to help my family.'"

Adrian asked if he could snap a picture, and that photo went viral. Thousands around the world started asking for David's Venmo, Paypal or next location to taste the street treats.

Adrian continues to support David's endeavor and says, "His mentality is very strong, because most people, they would be afraid to do it."

David's self-made cart is paying off, with the money he's making helping his family in the present and helping save for a brighter future.

"I'm saving (the money) right now, so in the future, I can maybe go to college," David says. "Or if the business goes well, maybe make a bigger (cart)."

Carmelo Lavastro, a regular customer and supporter of David’s entrepreneurial spirit, says, "He is a good example for the kids in our neighborhood."

If you're in Palmdale, David usually parks on the corner of Avenue R Frontage Road and 26th Street in Palmdale, or you can follow him on Twitter and get the latest updates.

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