When Crystal Ortega went to work for a food truck that sold coffee and crepes last summer, she had no idea she would wind up owning the business by the next spring.
Ortega, 18, graduated from Odessa High School Friday. The truck is in one place right now at 4200 Andrews Highway near the Cricket phone store. She plans to start moving Crystal’s Crepes and Coffee around after she gets settled.
“We have one that’s the strawnana. That’s the best seller — strawberry and banana and Nutella. And we have green apple, cheesecake and … s’mores,” among others Ortega said.
Before she started working there, Crystal’s sister Amber, saw the food truck on Facebook. Amber told Crystal there was a great food truck to try, so they did.
“I loved it. We were going every weekend and I wanted a job, so I asked Andy (Chavez, the previous owner),” Ortega said.
She went to work for him, but not before her parents, Joe and Lori Ortega, had a sit-down with Chavez.
Ortega said she was “pretty shocked” when Chavez offered her the business.
Joe Ortega said Crystal caught on to the business fast and Chavez was able to take off and do errands.
“I was happy to start something different; go on a different journey,” she said.
Crystal said she enjoys making the crepes and getting to know the customers.
“I just want to like a little shout out to the Steger family because they have helped my family,” Crystal said.
She added that they helped her get a generator for the food truck. Her father said they are like Crystal’s second family.
Crepes and coffee is different fare than other food trucks around Odessa. She said the coffees can be flavored. One of the popular ones is cinnamon chocolate and they have white chocolate and caramel.
Ortega said she was going to keep the food truck, but go to University of Texas Permian Basin to study nursing and cheer, as well. She also was a cheerleader at OHS.
Ortega also took Advanced Placement classes and was involved in Texas Scholars.
Joe Ortega said she already is a certified medical assistant.
Her mother, Lori Ortega, said she went through the career and technical education course at ECISD for it and it was very rigorous.
Medical assistants update medical records, do clerical work and schedule patients for appointments, admissions or laboratory services, among other things, according to the ameritech.edu website.
Crystal Ortega said she’s always been interested in nursing. She first wanted to go into neuroscience, but right now she’s going into nursing and may get into neuroscience later.
Lori Ortega said it takes a lot of organization to accomplish what Crystal has. Her parents said Crystal was very modest.
“So in other words, we have to brag on her,” Joe Ortega said.
“And we just admire her,” Lori Ortega said. “She’s very calm and patient and very determined and this is teaching her how to be independent, strong and confident.”