By Susan Hiland
|Favela's Fusion employee Lupita Serrato serves food Wednesday. The
restaurant is celebrating its 25th anniversary. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily
FAIRFIELD — The devotion of Favela’s employees is the key to the successful 25 years of business in Solano County, according to owner Veronica Favela.
Favela graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with a degree in business. She thought about what business to begin, spoke with her father about starting a restaurant and – with family recipes he provided – opened Favela’s restaurant on Texas Street in Fairfield a quarter-century ago.
Her business has grown from one small restaurant to three businesses in two communities.
“Success wouldn’t have happened without the loyal patrons and the dedication of the staff who are considered part of the family,” Favela said.
Her employees couldn’t agree with her more.
Maria Ortega, 55, who works as a server, has been with the company for 14 years, working in several positions.
“It’s been good to me,” she said.
She stays because she is happy and likes her work.
Many of Favela’s employees have been with her through good times and bad because everyone is family.
“I started right out of school and have been here for 18 years,” said Lupita Serrato, 34, manager at Favela’s Fusion.
Serrato started working at the restaurant when she was single, childless and newly graduated. Since then, her children have gone to school with Favela’s children. She watched Favela’s son go to college and take his first step out into the world.
“She gave me a chance to support my kids and myself,” Serrato said. “She has been very flexible and accommodating for me.”
Mario Vazquez’s passion for cooking has grown over the years. He has been with the company for 15 years, working at all three locations.
“I put my heart into the food,” Vazquez said. “I have a very big passion for making food for people.”
The first restaurant opened in 1990 on Texas Street in a what Favela describes as a small hole-in-the-wall spot. Within three years, she had opened Favela’s Taqueria on Harbison Drive in Vacaville. Then in 1998, she opened Favela’s Mexican Grill on Texas Street. Before opening Favela’s Fusion in 2008, she closed the original restaurant on Texas Street and rented out the space.
“It was tiny,” Favela said.
The idea for the Favela’s Fusion began a few years before and planning went ahead, but then the economy crashed and they experienced some tough times bringing that business together.
“That was the hardest thing for us,” Favela said. “We made it by putting our heads together and coming up with ideas that were different for getting people here.”
Despite some lean times, the authentic Mexican restaurant has thrived and grown, including changes to the menu and to the interior.
“I have no intention of expanding more,” Favela said. “I want to just maintain the quality of service and food.”
Article Source: Daily Republic