It’s official. Both Gypsy Taco and Gypsy Burger have new monikers.
Owner Chef Ciohon announced the new names: Taco Moto and Burger Moto, respectively, on social media this past weekend.
"Everyone understands how much I put into the brand. It was a very important part of the growth of the business. It’s big enough now that people really care about it. So it needed a name that was cool enough that people would want to wear it on a T-shirt or display it on a sticker. It also had to be something that I loved. And that’s really, really hard."
Ciohon says the new names were the product of a brainstorming session between himself and his friend and business partner, John Revord.
"We just sat down one afternoon and started tossing ideas back and forth," he says. And when we happened on the ‘Moto’ name, I liked it. It flowed. It has connotations to the city on the whole – both to bike culture and the overall mobile sense of the operation. And, although it’s not the same, it still captures a big part of the original concept."
Ciohon says the journey to the transition, which was prompted by objections to the original name raised by members of the Roma community, has been a learning experience.
"This experience has been really eye-opening," he says. "I’ve come to understand so much more about the Roma community and what they’ve been through over the years. And I’ve learned that almost anyone that they’ve approached in the past about a name change or an offensive slogan has pretty much been unresponsive. And so it was really important to me to follow through and keep my word."
In turn, he published the following video to Facebook.
Ciohon says that the transition for the business in terms of signage, the legal company name, social media and web presence and branding will be an ongoing process that he says he’ll be tackling as efficiently as possible.
And – apologies to Shakespeare – both the tacos and burgers by any other name will still taste just as sweet.
"I’m not changing the food, the level of service, or anything about the way I’ve operated," he says. "It’s still 100% service with a smile from chef Mitch, no matter what the name is."
Ciohon says that, despite the difficulty of the transition, he feels good about the changes and he hopes customers will feel the same.
"There will always be people who are too closed minded to understand why I needed to do this," he says. "But the hope is really that most people will really get behind it and support what I’ve been doing for the past five years."
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.