Native Pennsylvanian, Chaz Ortiz came to Savannah over 10 years ago. Being part of a large ethnic Puerto Rican family, reunions and get togethers were frequent, loud, a lot of fun and of course, completely based around the food being served. These events also meant a lot of storytelling while prepping and cooking to fill up the many food tables. This included everyone in the family, no matter what their ages were, and this exposed Chaz at a young age to the kitchen and its tools. Soon Chaz was bitten by the cooking bug, taking traditional family recipes and putting a new twist on them.
Chazito's actually began in a tent on River Street in Savannah on September 20, 2012, originally only serving Pinchos (Kabobs), Empanadas and Plantains. The idea of a Food Truck delivering his Puerto Rican cuisine to customers became more and more formalized, however. Chaz and his grandfather Doming Ortiz, purchased an old Frito Lay’s Potato Chips truck and, while working afternoons at Gulfstream, together they started working on revamping the truck into Chazitos Latin Cuisine Food Truck. The work took them about 6 months to complete, rebuilding the food truck in Chaz's driveway. During that time, the business was in its infancy stages and serving amazing food out of a tent on River Street and Forsyth Park for various festivals.
Even before the City of Savannah and Chatham County passed the current food truck laws, Chaz and his family were scouting for every opportunity to put the truck into action. Soon they were serving his authentic yet innovative Puerto Rican food, such as delicious empanadas (even low country boil stuffed ones specific to our area), sweet and crunchy plantains, flavorful pulled pork dishes, meaty Cuban sandwiches and amazing varieties of rice options at venues such as the Doggie Carnival Festival in Forsyth Park, the Isle of Hope Art & Music Festival, and festivals in the Atlanta and Jekyll Island areas.
Chaz’s business has grown to two food trucks serving the Savannah and low country areas. His catering business for weddings, family gatherings, and business luncheons alike has become an important part of this franchise. A Chazitos Latin Cuisine physical location opened in Pooler in October, 2016, and Chazito's in the Boro will open this year in Statesboro on September 8th.
Chazitos Latin Cuisine is based upon a life time dream of Chaz Ortiz. It is an entirely family owned and ran business by Chaz and his wife Katherine, with help from their son Zion, as well as by his dad JR and grandfather Domingo.
Connect Magazine: Best Food Truck of Savannah 2017, 2018
Beaufort Jaycees: Best Food Truck 2017
Savannah Morning News: Best Food Truck 2017; Best Restaurant in Pooler
Pooler Magazine: Best Takeout in Pooler 2017
Savannah Food Truck Festival: Top sales and Best Food Truck 2016, 2017
Taste of Pooler: Best Side Dish 2017