Food Page/Tid Bits, Stories

Family Business Gets Off The Ground

January 8, 2016

By María González Amarillo


Gringa’s Tacos & Catering has just been running for half a year and it already has bookings through June 2016. With “it smells good and tastes even better” as a slogan, the company plans to stay in San Diego, grow, and delight every single fan of Mexican food.

“Our business is providing Mexican food for any type of event, from a meal at your home to concerts, weddings, quinceañeras, and whatever you need,” owner Juan Carlos Ballesteros, commented to La Prensa San Diego.

Last August, the company was one year old, however, it had only been catering to relatives and close friends. When the Ballesteros family reached a point in which they could not find quality Mexican food around the area, they decided to create their own business.

“It is a project founded by a family and its connection to Mexican food. After looking for great Mexican food in San Diego without finding it, we thought about making it ourselves,” Ballesteros added.

After launching some advertisements on local radio stations Magic 92.5 and 91X, Gringa’s Tacos & Catering experimented saw growth. Dan Weaver, account executive at Local Media Radio Group, which Magic 92.5 and 91X are part of, was the one who discovered the potential of the product.

“I came across Dan and he helped us to make our company known. The radio was a huge promotional support for our business,” Ballesteros said. “We had actually already planned a campaign for the whole year.”

The Ballesteros family currently deals with up to three events per week. It often covers between eight and 10 events per month. The radio ads and the food quality have been the keys to the success, according to the Ballesteros.

“No matter how many adverts we do, the food will not be sold if it does not taste good. But if it tastes great and I am helped with the promotion, then it will be successful. The number one is my wife, Araceli, who does the cooking. My daughter does great marketing. The business is run from many aspects,” Ballesteros says.

“We are attracting many customers and of course the radio helped a lot,” he adds. “I would like to send special thanks to my wife Araceli Hernandez, my son Bryan and my daughter Mia Ballesteros, and Dan Weaver and Local Media,” he added.

The four members of the family are the ones managing the business in spite of the considerable amount of events they work each month. They bring friends or relatives when they need help for major events.

“The four of us are the company employees right now and we can get up to ten or twelve people when there is a big event,” Ballesteros says. “And we are very flexible regarding bookings. We recommend to book an event with us one or two weeks in advance but sometimes we receive last-minute requests and we always try our best to help our clients.”

The cost per person is $14.95 and some of the products used by Gringa’s Tacos & Catering include lean cuts of beef, marinated chicken with a family sauce recipe, a unique guacamole, and a variety of sauces, among and more.

“Taking into account our quality product and customer service, the price is very affordable. We do not use oil or precook the food, everything is roasted and we always cook during the events,” Ballesteros added.

“We do Tacos al Pastor following an original Mexican recipe, which is not common in San Diego,” he adds. “And we put cheese between the two tortillas of the tacos, in addition to the meat on top and delicious sauces.”

According to Ballesteros, Gringa’s Tacos & Catering beat the record of meat sold during an event launched by the radio station Magic 92.5, where thousands of visitors attended. The company sold 560 pounds of meat in four hours. The business owner feels really happy about the progress of their venture.

“We have been in San Diego for 21 years and we are still looking for the American Dream, we are in progress of reaching it. The best part is doing it with family and friends. It is a blessing the way this business is opening doors for us and it is allowing us to meet more people and to be economically more stable,” he commented.

A future goal for the Ballesteros family is opening a restaurant and managing it together with the current events company.

“I think everybody has the same opportunities in the United States, but you have to look for your big opportunity, not give up and keep knocking on doors until the one waiting for you opens,” Ballesteros says. “That was crucial for our success, we never gave up.”

More details can be found about their business by visiting the website www.gringascatering.com, emailing gringasjc@gmail.com, or calling 619-757-4749.

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