Restaurants Thriving In Columbia

3 years 8 months 8 hours ago Monday, April 14 2014 Apr 14, 2014 Monday, April 14, 2014 8:42:00 PM CDT April 14, 2014 in News
By: Jay Wallis, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Starting and running a restaurant in any city can be risky business. In large part due to their location, two Columbia restaurants have found success.

Mi Tierra is the second offering of a family-run Mexican restaurant in Columbia. Manager Cristian Ramirez lived in San Marcos, Tx before moving to Columbia to work with a friend at El Maguey. A few years down the road, he decided to open his own restaurant - La Terraza. Business, though, got tighter after his brother convinced him to open a second location.

"I wanted to work things out but sometimes, you just have to face the facts," Ramirez said. "I had the passion to keep it going, but I just couldn't because of the money."

After almost moving back to Texas, his cousin, German Amaya, offered to provide the money for an entirely new restaurant.

"I couldn't let that go," Amaya said. "He's a very passionate guy, and he has great ideas, so I couldn't let it go.

So with that money, Ramirez brought back almost all of the same staff from La Terraza and opened his current restaurant, Mi Tierra. Not only does Ramirez want to stay in Columbia because that is where he and his wife met, but he also thinks the city is the perfect place to build a business.

"Columbia has a lot of potential for Mexican restaurants for some reason," Ramirez said.

The culture of Columbia has several elements that make the city a good place to open up a business.

Columbia's central location on highway I-70 and 63 attracts travelers passing through while its positioning between St. Louis and Kansas City increases business. As a center of higher education, Columbia creates a ready-made workforce and customers who can afford to eat out. Also, moving to the SEC has brought in more out-of-town customers who come for gameday.

Recent statistics in regard to restaurants reflect this growth. In the past year, new businesses represent eight percent of all restaurants in Columbia. Amaya believes college students help entrepreneurs, like Ramirez, get back on their feet and try again.

"Look at the students, look at how many people we have around here," Amaya said. "There's like thousands of students just across the street from us right now. That can help anyone trying to get support."

Students also provide the workers and customers chain restaurants need. Zaxby's owner Cheryl Jarvis and her husband actually inquired about opening a restaurant ten years ago but were turned down.

"They told us, 'thanks for the inquiry, we're not close to Missouri. Check back in the future,'" Jarvis said.

By 2012, the future had already arrived.

"Columbia just joined the SEC and so we really like that was very much another part cause people coming to Columbia would recognize Zaxby's name," Jarvis said. "There are so many positive results because of the move."

When it came to finding employees, Jarvis said hiring was a cinch.

"Whether it's college students on up, it's a little bit higher level because Columbia supports such a mixed group," Jarvis said.

Jarvis isn't the only one that sees Columbia helping businesses to be. Columbia Chamber of Commerce president Matt McCormick said he has long seen the impact higher education has on Columbia business

"With the higher ed with the university and the colleges we have here, you have a constant flow of possible employees and customers," McCormick said. "It's amazing to see."

McCormick mentioned that Columbia has become the entrepreneurial capital of Missouri with the available support in the city.

More News

Grid
List
OLATHE, Kan (AP) — A third man has been convicted in the killing of a suburban Kansas City gun... More >>
47 minutes ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 8:46:29 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said it concluded a three-month long investigation into a... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 7:54:30 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Mid-Missouri could be gaining its second, fully-accredited Montessori school. Tonight Woodland Montessori will put forward its... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:53:00 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
UPDATE: The Missouri State Highway Patrol has confirmed they have arrested 36-year-old Audrey Griffith in Audrain County in connection with... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:49:00 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - On Wednesday evening, Columbia Police Officers were dispatched to the 2300 block of Carpenter Drive in reference to... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:20:46 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police Officers responded to the 1500 block of Vandiver Drive in reference to a reported home invasion... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 5:28:42 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
Update: Columbia Police Officers have made an arrest in regards to Wednesday morning's incident in the 1500 block of Fir... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 4:50:00 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The director of the Missouri Veterans Commission has resigned amid complaints about care at the St.... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 10:37:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
SALINE COUNTY - Former Columbia Police officer Rob Sanders will head back to the courtroom in May 2018 as he... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 10:03:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired outfielder Marcell Ozuna from the Miami Marlins. The deal is pending a physical. ... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 9:41:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Today the Federal Communications Commission will vote on a plan to repeal net neutrality and librarians worry this... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 8:44:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in Continuous News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - The man who was found on Audrain Road 913 Tuesday next to a crashed car died of... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 8:32:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
MOBERLY - Missouri law enforcement is impeded by a number of issues in cases involving child sexual abuse. Alleged... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 8:20:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in Target 8
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce hosted the ninth and final public hearing by the 21st Century Missouri Transportation... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 7:12:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Federal Communications Commission vote to repeal net neutrality is fast approaching. The vote to remove regulations that... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 7:12:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Justice Reinvestment Task Force took a big step Wednesday when it comes to addressing mental health,... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 6:53:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - As Columbia Regional Airport plans to expand, it got a push from Mayor Brian Treece. Treece called... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 6:37:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri is among the worst states nationwide at preventing its young people from smoking and using tobacco, according... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 6:15:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 33°
10am 34°
11am 34°
12pm 35°
1pm 36°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

9:00a
Megyn Kelly TODAY
10:00a
Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda
11:00a
Rachael Ray
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
10:00a
Jerry Springer
11:00a
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

6:30p
Football Night in Indianapolis
7:20p
Thursday Night Football
7:00p
iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2017
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld