From the Windy City to Lyon County. The Mijes family moved 400 miles, from Chicago, Illinois, to Eddyville, to start a new life and, as it turns out, a new business.
In November 2019, Rudy Mijes, his wife Gloria and sons Jesse and Jose relocated to western Kentucky. A business venture enticed Rudy — the patriarch — that sprung a multi-generational, diversified business endeavor.
A transition in ownership at Eddyville Regional Doors & Glass from father to son required a new partner, Rudy.
Once settling in and becoming part-owner of the company, Rudy had Jesse, Jose and Gloria relocate to Kentucky to lay down roots and start businesses.
In the beginning, the Mijes owned one business until they were compelled to open a restaurant. The move seemed natural, Jesse recalled.
“She’s (cooked for big crowds) a lot because we always throw family parties,” he said.
He said growing up in Illinois is filled with memories of family parties where everyone loved his mother’s food. Family and friends acted as first-time customers.
Back in Chicago, Rudy and Gloria had the foundation necessary for running a restaurant. Rudy’s uncles and aunts owned Mexican restaurants, and so did his parents. It was in those restaurants where Rudy and Gloria met and cultivated a relationship.
Gloria took ownership and pride in preparing food for large groups. She comes from the Mexican state of Guerrero, where her family has owned and operated businesses for generations. Jesse said she gets it from her parents, sisters and grandparents.
“My mom has always wanted to be a business owner,” Jesse added. “My mom is definitely is not a slacker, you know she has always wanted to do more, and her niche just happened to be Mexican food.”
After giving away food to co-workers as tasters and teasers, Gloria knew it was time to start selling her product.
A lease was signed in September 2020, amid the pandemic. The risk was inherent. Shuttered restaurants were struggling to cope with extraordinary circumstances, however, the Mijes were undeterred.
“She was here every day painting and scrapping, and all of that,” Rudy said. “She was getting everything ready for the place.”
Once open, customers from all over Kentucky began calling and inquiring. Word-of-mouth promotion launched a steady stream of customers. Jesse works every day with his mom, and he has noticed new customers coming into the restaurant daily.
The family aims to slowly grow the business as best they can. Discussed improvements and expansion remain constant. The Mijes would like to offer traditional Mexican beverages like horchata and margaritas. A possible outdoor patio with seating is an option as well.
Even though Rudy and Jesse are investing in Regional Doors & Glass to make it successful, they help out at La Pinata whenever they have a chance.
“If we can continue expanding, that would be great, but unfortunately, it’s hard to find help,” Rudy said.
They see themselves one day growing out of La Pinata and moving into a proper dine-in restaurant that can accommodate large groups.