‘We Won’t Let Go Easily’: A Small Business Owner Shares Their Story & Family Recipe

Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla

Ask an in-the-know gringo about the word “pinche” and you might get a chuckle. Pinches Tacos—a fast-casual Latino chain of restaurants with locations in Southern California and Nevada—was originally going to be called Taqueria Principal. Miguel Anaya Sr.’s children nudged otherwise. Don’t let the name fool you, though. Anaya, owner of Pinches Tacos, and his family takes their homegrown business seriously… particularly now, during the desolate time of the coronavirus.

Pinches Tacos has a history of pulling up their sleeves and embracing their durability. Jorge Anaya and his brothers Miguel Jr, Fernando and Javier help run the business nowadays, building on their 76-year-old father’s legacy.

“[He] wanted to experience and live the American Dream with his kids,” Jorge shares. “He was a chef for 27 years. Everything I can remember about quality Mexican food [came from him]. [Now,] we’re doing it for our future—for our kid’s kids, to build them a stronger foundation.

Sadly, like many businesses out there, Pinches is facing financial hardships right now. The Anaya family’s history of hard work is currently being passed on to their workforce. Miguel’s son Jorge spoke with us to explain how the hardships are directly cutting into everyone’s pocketbooks.

“We’re not going to let this go easily… We’ve camped down. We’ve cut hours.” Anaya states. “The brothers aren’t cashing their paychecks. We need to make sure our employees are ok. Without [the employees], we are nobody.”

As a gesture in good faith, their family has extended their kitchen by rationing food to employees, which they consider family as well. “How many are in your family?” they ask before the handoff. “This should get you through the week.”

Jorge offered the following recipe of Mexican rice to help extend the warmth of his family businesses and liven up your kitchens through uncertain times. He encourages you to use this as a guideline but mix it up to your taste.

“You can follow a recipe but you always need to tweak it,” Jorge says, echoing his father’s advice.

Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
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Of course, if you’re in Southern California or Las Vegas, Pinches Tacos’ family of restaurants are still open and serving takeout.

“The hardest part of this business is having people come in your door. For us, the easiest part is having them come back.” Jorge says. You can follow them on Instagram and Twitter to see more of their tasty food and inspire your cooking adventures.

We have to worry about tomorrow, not today. Because if there’s nothing to come back to—what the hell are we going to do?”