Tell us a little about yourselves and what led you to your job at Mi Cocina?
I started waiting tables at Mi Cocina at a different location 20 years ago and fell in love. I worked really hard and after six months, I got promoted to assistant manager and worked at the Mi Cocina located at Preston/Forest for about four years. Then, Mico arrived one day and told me, “You are going to Highland Park Village as a General Manager.” I was scared, since it was the busiest of all the Mi Cocinas. He told me to think about it, but didn’t give me much time. He said, “If you don’t like it, I will bring you back to Preston/Forest!” I am still here, so you can guess if I liked it!
How long have you been leading the charge at Mi Cocina in Highland Park Village?
I have been working at the Highland Park location for 15 years.
What’s your favorite or most unique thing about what you do?
Getting to know our guests, learning their names and watching kids grow up, get married, and have kids of their own. Kids that used to run around are now drinking Mambos! I still see them as kids and I ask servers if they checked their IDs. Time passes by so fast, and suddenly they are 21 and older.
How long have you personally been visiting Highland Park Village?
This is my second home. It feels like forever.
What do you enjoy most about the Highland Park Village community?
I love walking around and saying ‘hi’ to everybody. Everybody knows everybody. It’s like a big family (workers, owners, police officers, and guests).
Are there any secret or fun facts you can share about the center, the restaurant, or yourself?
I eat at Mi Cocina almost every day, and then when I go out of town or don’t work for several days, I crave it! It’s the first place I want to eat as soon as I get back. I see a lot of our guests come directly from the airport to eat with us, lots of them with luggage in hand. It’s a great feeling when a guest says, “We missed Mi Cocina so much!” I love that.
What are some of your other favorite spots around The Village?
I think every place is unique and beautiful. I am thankful to have the opportunity to work in HP Village. I feel special and proud.
Highland Park Village is proud to spotlight our very own dynamic personalities and community partners in the Village Voices series. Get to know our past features.