Erick moved to Arizona in 1993 and I moved to Arizona in 2000-both of us to go to ASU. We both have worked restaurants since we were in our mid teens. We met at On The Border Mexican Grill in 2004 where Erick was the managing partner, he spent a decade working his way up the line from a cook and I was a server working my way through college. We were married in March 2005 and opened our first location Boulders On Broadway in 2007.
At the time we had an opportunity to possibly move to Colorado with Brinker International (On The Border) or try our hand at doing our own thing. We thought what the heck you don’t know until you try and left corporate America to try our hand at small business owning. Our joke is if you want to test your marriage open a restaurant together and work for for free for a few years to see what you are really made of. We were just shy of our 2 year wedding anniversary when we opened. Those early years of restauranting were hard.
We learned that after 3 months of only sleeping 3 or 4 hours a night your body says, Hell no-Take a break!
We Learned that in times of hardship you find out who your friends are. The countless times people literally showed up to paint bathrooms, clean the building, bus tables, do dishes and many times came in to eat and ended up helping us serve customers instead. It was a time when you said, we won’t make it unless we let down our pride and ask for help.
We learned that what worked before may not work again.
There was a lot of fear, tears and struggling in those first years. Most of all we experienced true friendship, faith in the things unseen and ulimately what it means to really work your ass off for something you believe in.
The beginning is my favorite to look back on. I like to look back and see where we have been and how far we have come. We still don’t have it all figured out but we an amazing community around us that can’t be replaced.