Small-business spotlight

SMALL-BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Fat Burrito, Crown Point

2012-10-28T00:00:00Z SMALL-BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Fat Burrito, Crown PointDiane Poulton Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
October 28, 2012 12:00 am  • 

CROWN POINT | With $1.70 tacos, every day is taco Tuesday at Crown Point’s newest ethnic restaurant.

Co-owners Ben Parades Rojas and David Huetra De Jesus opened Fat Burrito at 1302 N. Main St. in late August. Both said cooking is their passion and Fat Burrito fulfills both men’s dreams of being restaurant owners.

“The time was right for us to open our own business,” De Jesus said.

Not wanting to start out in debt, they pooled their savings to fund the restaurant.

De Jesus said only fresh homemade ingredients are used at Fat Burrito. Their top priorities are cleanliness and customer satisfaction, he said. The extensive menu includes appetizers, breakfast, lunch, and dinner and dessert items. A children’s menu features $4.25 meals and lunch specials range in price from $4 to $7.50. The restaurant’s namesake item “Fat Burrito” is 16 inches long.

Customers can have it their way, De Jesus said, as Rojas will prepare special order dishes to patron’s specifications.

“If it is not on the menu and we have the ingredients we will make it,” De Jesus said. “If something is too spicy for our customers, it will be toned down.”

De Jesus counts former employer Juan Rodriguez, owner of Valparaiso’s El Amigo, as a mentor. He said Rodriguez trained him and also encouraged him to follow his dream of opening his own restaurant.

Rojas said he learned to cook watching his mother in Mexico, taking over meal preparation when she was away.

Others tried to dissuade Rojas and De Jesus from becoming business entrepreneurs, saying the current economy is not conducive to starting a new business.

“But we really both knew, not so much about business but about working, so we decided to give it a try.” De Jesus said.

Both are pleased with Crown Point residents’ response as business is steady. Future plans include opening earlier with a more extensive breakfast menu. De Jesus said.

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