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24-Year-Old Portland Food Cart Calls It Quits

Shelly's Garden Honkin' Huge Burritos will close August 31

Shelly’s Garden Honkin’ Huge Burritos
Yelp/Kody L.

Located on Pioneer Courthouse Square since 1993, the Shelly's Garden food cart, aka Honkin' Huge Burritos, will close at the end of the month, according to its Facebook page. The cart was so popular former mayor Sam Adams declared July 18, 2012 to be "Honkin' Huge Burritos Day," to honor its 20th anniversary.

In the Facebook announcement, owner Shelly Sorenson writes, “With much heart-felt deliberation and financial decision-making, I have found it necessary to move forward by closing Honkin' Huge Burritos at Pioneer Courthouse Square on August 31, 2017."

Pioneer Courthouse Square is currently home to two food carts, and a five-cart food cart pod is expected to open on the Square this fall. Shelly's Garden Honkin' Huge Burritos was expected to remain in operation at the new pod, but the PBJ reports “the writing first appeared on the wall” when the new food cart pod was announced, with construction filling the Square for months and rents likely to roughly double.

At one time, Honkin’ Huge Burritos had 10 Portland locations, and speaking with the O in 2012, Sorenson said she only remembered one other food cart operating in Portland when she opened Shelly’ Garden. The O’s coverage went on to say her cart “is most likely Portland's oldest continuously owned food cart.”

Since the food cart’s Facebook farewell, an outpouring of laments and memories has overtaken the comments section. These include multiple comments from people who thanked Sorenson for giving them free burritos when they were living on the streets.

One commenter wrote, “I'm so sorry Shelly. I just love you to pieces. When I was homeless you fed me many times. You will never truly know what that meant to me. You are one special lady.”

And another reads, “My favorite time was going to get a Honkin’ Huge Burrito and watching the free Pink Martini concert! Those were the days! I think it was only 5 bucks.”

Here’s Sorenson’s full Facebook announcement:

**Honkin’ Huge Burritos has an important ANNOUNCEMENT**

With much heart-felt deliberation and financial decision-making, I have found it necessary to move forward by closing Honkin’ Huge Burritos at Pioneer Courthouse Square on August 31, 2017. This was a very difficult decision for me as I am quite fond of you cute people and it is making it so very hard to go. I celebrate this most personally satisfying and wonderful journey of community, care, and rolling tasty, healthy, Honkin’ Huge burritos. For over 25 years, it has been my honor and privilege to be in service to you. Thank you for the love and support. It always moves me. I have been thankful everyday. Full frequent eater cards will be honored through August 31, 2017. See you soon!

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