Author Archives: Anabel Aranda-Saenz

McDONALD’S EQUALS SUCCESS

In McAllen, the name McDonald’s is synonomous with the word success. However, it takes a lot of hard work, long hours and many years to maintain that success. Fred del Barrio was 18 and going to school half days, which caused his father to say, “Get a job!” Reluctant to go job searching when he already brought in money from washing teachers vehicles, Fred found himself discussing his situation with his older sister’s boss at McDonald’s. Before he knew it, he had a job at McDonald’s. “I still remember my first day,” said Fred. “After an orientation and getting issued my uniform, I went to the kitchen to start my training, working a 4 to 7 o’clock shift. I remember all these timers going off all over. At 7 o’clock I headed to the time clock to punch out, but was stopped on my way. It seems I still had…

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BUSINESS YOU SHOULD KNOW – BRITO CONSTRUCTION

Satisfied customers. That’s what most pleases Miguel Brito, co-owner of Brito Construction. Though the company does all forms of construction – home construction, residential remodeling, commercial finish-outs and residential developments – Miguel’s favorite is residential. “Commercial is often easier because doing residential means working with individuals who can be more detailed and finicky,” Miguel said. “But, I like that moment when I give the family the keys and see them happy.”  The company started 23 years ago when Brito’s father came from Venezuela. His brother joined him from Mexico. “My Uncle Juan found a piece of land at Bentsen and Pecan,” Miguel said. “We bought the land, developed the streets, and built the 181 lots by phases. It was called Bentsen Heights.” Today, Miguel and his cousin, Pilar Brito, run the organization. Building at least 30 to 35 homes a year, among their other projects, they have a staff of…

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PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW – ALBERT & JORGE SUAREZ

Albert & Jorge Suarez, Co-owners Koko’s Mexican Restaurant   Love sometimes leads people to do things that surprise all those around them. Take the story of Albert and Jorge Suarez, co-owners, Koko’s Mexican Restaurant on north 10th Street.  At 49 years of age, Carmen Mery Suarez, the beloved mother and wife of the Suarez family was gone. Though she and her husband, Alberto Z. Suarez, had a clothing store, her dream had always been to follow in her brother’s footsteps and open a restaurant. Jorge had worked in his uncle’s restaurant, and found he had a talent cooking. “A few months after my mom died I  went to Jorge and said, ‘Let’s open a restaurant. I’ll be the waiter and you be the cook,’” Albert said. “I was 21 and he was 18. We started out with 10 tables in downtown McAllen.”  Expanding to 28 tables across the street, then…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADORS – JERRY & SANDIE TREVIÑO

Jerry & Sandie Treviño VomFASS Owners   If anyone is the least bit a foodie, VomFASS is the place to go. With a European ambiance and good old-fashioned Texas hospitality, this gem of a store in the Palms Crossing shopping center by the Convention Center, co-owned by Jerry and Sandie Treviño, allows taste-testing of its one-of-a-kind products – special vinegars, oils, wines and liquors.  Leaving the corporate world behind with 33-years in insurance for Jerry and 30 years as a Security First Credit Union officer for Sandie, these foodies found VomFASS on their honeymoon in San Francisco, and returned on every visit to the Bay area. “I wasn’t even thinking of anything in particular after one especially hard day at work when I came home and told Sandie I was ready for something different,” Jerry began. “Before I knew it, she was on the phone checking out the opportunity to…

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