Two families bringing new flavors to Columbia
COLUMBIA - Two new family oriented businesses in Columbia hope to bring new flavors to the community.
Paleteria El Tajin and Taqueria Don Pancho wanting to differentiate themselves from other restaurants in Columbia.
Located in downtown Columbia near 9th and Broadway, at Paleteria el Tajin, people can find traditional mexican food like tacos, burritos and tortas.
However, the business also offers unique desserts and snacks.
This includes mexican street corn sprinkled with hot cheetos and things like mangonadas.
Mangonadas is a mango icecream, topped with spicy pepper seasoning and fresh cut mangoes.
Jocelyn Herrera, a partial owner of El Tajin said her family was inspired to open the restaurant because they struggled to find these kinds of items in Columbia.
They often had to go all the way to Kansas City to get something similar.
However opening a restaurant was always a dream to Herrera and her family.
A restaurant with flavors and traditions from their home village in Martinez de la Torre, México.
Doing this with her family makes it all the more special to Herrera.
“We support each other as a family. For us it is a beautiful thing to be able to move forward when we are not in our home country,” she said.
Despite their differences, the importance of family is something that that the two businesses have in common.
Francisco Rutiega is the owner of Taqueria Don Pancho. He runs the business with his three sons, one daughter and his wife.
Unlike a traditional his taqueria focuses on offering customers a quicker, more casual experience.
Like Paleteria El Tajin his flavors are also unique to his village in Mexico.
“The recipes are the most typical from where we are from in Gomez Placio, Durango,” said Rutiega.
Both of the businesses opened in early August, but not before facing their fair share of obstacles.
Taqueria Don Pancho, first open earlier this year.
The family worked out of a small kitchen located in Loop Liquor near Business Loop 70.
Just a few months, after opening the family had to shut down due to an increase in rent.
At that point Rutiega thought his days in the food business might be done.
However, the community was disappointed in the closure of the restaurant and this inspired the family to look for another location.
After three months of searching, the family found a place in South Columbia on 3907 Peachtree Drive.
Herrera and her family also faced obstacles.
None of the family had ever owned a restaurant and struggled with the process of opening the paleteria.
From obtaining licenses, to finding a place to put the paleteria and struggling with speaking spanish it was a long process.
However, the support and good reception from the community has made the struggles and long process worth it for both families.