|Authentic Mexican cuisine offered at Gonzalez Mercado|
|Written by Kyle Arnoldy|
It is an exciting time for José Gonzalez and his wife Alicia Ruiz as they see their dream of owning a restaurant become reality in Holyoke.
After purchasing Amanda’s Mercado, located at 430 E. Denver St., from Ramón Dominguez, the couple officially began their new positions as owners and managers of the newly named Gonzalez Mercado Friday, March 8. They are anxious for the people of Holyoke to stop in and try their unique style and extensive menu.
With many years of experience at various restaurants in Ft. Collins, and after much deliberation, José decided it was time to take the next step in his career and open a restaurant of his own. After receiving word that there was a place available in Holyoke, the couple packed up and headed east with their 3-year-old son, Anthony.
They have already picked up a few regulars and expressed that it is a wonderful feeling when customers give them positive feedback and comment on the tastiness of their dishes.
Both José and Alicia point to the burrito as their favorite entree, but acknowledge the tortas and tostadas as close runners-up.
Alicia Ruiz, pictured at left, and husband José Gonzalez show off a plate of tostadas and a steak burrito at the newly opened Gonzalez Mercado. —Enterprise photo
With José manning the cooking responsibilities and Alicia handling the customer service, the two have hardly had a free moment in the past month. Though they say the long days are tiring and can be overwhelming at times, the hard work is worth being able to do what they love.
José first became intrigued with the restaurant life when he was hired on at a Perkins as a dishwasher. He eventually moved up to food preparation work and then into the kitchen where he decided that he wanted to be a chef. He still gets a laugh when he recalls his early experiments in his kitchen that resulted in large messes.
After tenures in a handful of kitchens, José landed at Lucile’s in Ft. Collins, where he stayed for the past eight years. The job allowed José the opportunity to grow as a chef with a boss who encouraged José and included some of his own dishes on the menu.
Along with years of experience, José has taken culinary arts courses at Front Range Community College and says he is close to obtaining his degree.
As of now, the Gonzalez family is still searching for a place to call home in Holyoke. They are excited for their future in the community and are thankful that those who have stopped in at the restaurant/market have been very friendly.
Gonzalez Mercado is open Tuesday-Sunday from 7 a.m.-9 p.m.
Holyoke Enterprise April 11, 2013