Whether you visit El Mejicano for their lunch specials, made-to-order guacamole or their virgin sangria, the quality of the food and the customer service will keep you coming back for more. Let’s get to know more about them!
For those that don’t know you, introduce yourself and tell us what businesses you own.
Hey everyone! My name is Jesus Mendez and I’m owner of El Mejicano in Denville, co-owner of Vikingos Bakery in Denville with Jillian, and Egg’s City in Boonton.
You juggle a lot! What’s a typical day like?
First I should say that it isn’t just me running around. I’m lucky that my family, Jillian and I work together to make everything run. One of the many things I love about being a small business owner is that no day is ever the same. But it’s usually a mix of prep, supply runs, cleaning, prep, cooking, deliveries, cooking, maintenance and some more cooking haha. Usually starts early and ends late.
What is the best and worst part of owning a restaurant?
The one thing I tell everyone when they ask me about opening a restaurant is to make sure they love the lifestyle not the money. When you look at it from a purely numbers perspective, it’s hard to justify the hours vs the pay. But when you love people, you love the busy nights, the problem solving, the running around and just the overall pride in creating something, then you know you’re in the right place.
What has been your most unusual request?
Well the most peculiar one we’ve had so far was when someone asked us if we could chop their salad more finely because it was better for their digestion. To this day I haven’t quite figured that one out.
What has been your most memorable catering order so far?
We’ve worked with a lot of great companies through the years but definitely feeding over 650 front line workers during the pandemic takes the cake. We were approached by several organizations and even individuals to work together and feed many front line workers and that’s something we’ll remember forever.
Looking five years ahead, what’s in store?
Hey, we made it through the pandemic intact so I know anything after is going to be good. Ideally I’d love to partner with more awesome people like Jillian who want to work hard and build something awesome that also serves the community. Might be in the restaurant industry, might not, we’ll have to wait and see!