Everyday Food for Everyday People
When Jose Camarena moved to Texas in 1981 with his wife Sylvia, he had a mission in mind. He wanted to buy a taco truck and sell his food on the street corners of Houston, much as he had done in Chicago for the previous two years.
Mr. Camarena was startled to discover that Houston had few, if any, of the taquerias that were so popular in Mexico and Chicago. There were plenty of Mexican restaurants here, but not the tiny businesses that sell tacos fast and cheap, authentic Mexican style.
Jose used what little money he had saved, and opened his first taqueria at 4609 Irvington calling it Taquerias Arandas, named for the closest town to Jose’s birthplace, the village of Jesus Maria, Mexico. The church he proudly displays on his menus is from his hometown. "We believe we are here because of God, and the picture is how we express our thanks.”
There are currently over 35 Taquerias Arandas locations throughout Texas, plus 4 Bakeries, and 2 Seafood houses. Mr. Camarena has since sold all of the taquerias to family members and investors, who operate them under franchise arrangements. With the exploding growth of Taquerias Arandas, future franchises will include additional cities throughout the country.