Business Doing Well and Challenges
Although business is still doing well, Ramirez has noticed some differences that have impacted him. The church parking lot across from the restaurant, for example, no longer allows non-permitted parking – and with spots at a premium, slightly fewer people are coming in. After speaking with city officials, however, he learned that a new parking structure will be going up nearby, which should help reverse that trend.
Additionally, the neighborhood isn’t as heavily influenced by Hispanics as it had once been. Ramirez attributes this to a number of factors, including recent resident departures due to so-called self-deportation. Many of his former customers are Hispanics who moved to the southern U.S. or returned to Latin America, including Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Ramirez, who’s active on social-media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, remains undaunted, however. He’s recognized and accepts these changes but won’t necessarily bend to them. He continues to serve the authentic Mexican cuisine he’s known for and has plans to increase the output of his factory, which is currently at around 400 cases a week.
But he stresses that the numbers aren’t all about how many diners he serves every night or the amount of tortillas he ships. As he puts it, “We’re more into quality than quantity.”