Rene worked as a training manager for a large corporation until he was laid off a few years back. He had a hard time finding a new job in the midst of the recession, with employers saying that he was overqualified for the positions they had available. After six months, he landed a bartender job, which was the catalyst that sparked him to start his own business.
Getting back into the food service industry as a bartender inspired Rene to consider starting his own business. His first job was as a cashier at Jack in the Box when he was 17, and through the years, he has held many jobs dealing with food preparation and foodservice management. He decided to take these 22 years of experience and open Tortifruit, a deli specializing in Mexican style sandwiches and fruit salads.
Rene and his wife Escamilla run the shop, using only top quality ingredients to set Tortifruit apart from the competition. Rather than ordering large quantities of wholesale bread and produce, they buy small quantities daily so that they only serve the freshest ingredients. Rene loves working in foodservice, because it is always a challenge. No two days are ever alike. He also loves the way food makes people feel comfortable and at home.
Business is growing steadily for Rene and Escamilla and they have reached a point where they need additional equipment to keep up with demand. They will use their Kiva loan to purchase another blender, as well as a refrigerated sandwich prep table.
Tortifruit has already been embraced by the local community, and Rene hopes these improvements will help his shop become the number one Chamango/Torta in the region. Ultimately, what Rene and Escamilla seek is their own slice of the American Dream, believing that their dedication (15 hour days) to their business will eventually provide them with more independence and time to spend with their kids.