It’s all in the family at Que-Rico
By Debbie Flessner
Good things come in small packages.
And finding a great restaurant in the middle of
a small strip shopping center feels like opening a
special gift on Christmas Day. Que-Rico Colombian
Flavors, on U.S. 41, in North Port, may only have
28 seats, but a quick glance at its TripAdvisor reviews
reveals the many satisfied customers who have
passed through its doors in the little more than a year
it has been open.
Que-Rico is owned and operated by the Tenorio family-Ruby, Rodrigo and their 21-year-old son Ivan. Originally from Colombia, Ruby and Rodrigo, who is a trUss engineer by trade, owned larger restau- rants on the east coast of Florida. They also owned a more than 240-seat one out in Tucson, Arizona, before moving to North Port with lvan, their only child. Ruby said that starting a new restaurant here was not her original plan.
"When we sold the restaurant in Arizona, I said I was not going to open another one, she said. "We said, That's it, when we came here." But by then, Ivan had graduated from high school, and was planning to enter a Homeland Security program, as a means of achieving his ultimate goal of entering the FBI. Ruby decided that she would start just one more small restaurant, while lvan was pursuing his career aspirations. That way, they could operate it together, as long as he was still around. She said she figured it was just a temporary venture.
said I would be able to manage without many employees," Ruby said. "We didn't expect to be that successful in such a short time- we were planning on three years." That success means that Ruby now plans to keep the restaurant going long after Ivan is no longer working .
Meet the merchant
You will always get a taste of his mother's cooking Business: Que Rico Colombian Flavors Owner: Ivan 1enorio Why did you decide to get into this business?: "It was my mother's idea. Because my major was in homeland security I was planning on leaving the area.. but since I am my mother's only child she said no way!' She said here is a restaurant and noW you will stay!" What is the most challenging thing about running this business?:
“The business owns me. I work six days a week. So I would say time management. I try to keep everything running smoothly … making sure that the food we serve is always good. Juggling the many things that a restaurant demands is quite challenging.”What sets you apart from the competition?: “I say it is my mothers cooking. Every dish she makes has a different seasoning. Our menu has homemade everything. Our service is also top quality. Our customers are like family.”