Fighting to reach our goals is part of our daily lives, reaching them is to move on, that’s the story of the Muchas Gracias owners.
Rodolfo Sánchez was born and raised in the town of Congregacion Santo Domingo, San Luis Potosi State in México. He arrived to the U.S. 25 years ago. "The reason why I left my country, like many other Mexicans was to look for a better life. I was working in agriculture in Mexico and one day I decided to come here. At first it was hard because of the language barrier, the different culture and how much I missed what I had left behind, but I had a deep desire to work. This desire by itself opened many doors for me which is by far the best language.
I arrived to California and worked at the same restaurant for 9 years, it is the only kind of work I have had in the U.S. I have my own family and I work hard to reach my goals. I always enjoyed California, but one day I came to visit Oregon, I liked the area, his peaceful environment and I decided to move here.
It was never hard for me to move on because I love to work hard and by doing so there is never a problem just opportunity. I remember that my only concern was Immigration Service back in the days, of course I had to be careful since they were always looking for people. I was very fortunate to later be part of the 1987 amnesty where I was able to legalize my status and stop worrying about the immigration huge concern.
The U.S. represents to me a very open country where there is a chance to always move forward, it only takes hard dedication to work and to fight to achieve your goals and dreams. This country is always giving people the opportunity to progress and by doing so the country grows as well.
My business started in California, with the idea of selling Mexican food in our restaurants; it all started thanks to my employer from the restaurant I was working before. I opened 5 restaurants in California that did really well, but when I moved to Oregon I sold them. I opened the first restaurant in St. Helens, Oregon then kept opening more, I have a different system to open new restaurants that has worked very well.
At this time I have opened 54 restaurants in different places in Oregon and Washington and we continue growing. We are handling franchises where we sell the whole idea; we make sure that every Muchas Gracias restaurant has the same characteristics, keeping the flavor that has made our restaurants to be a success, as well as the 24 hours services and all our reasonable prices.
Most of my employees are from Mexico, but I open the doors to anyone who wants to work, for example, there is an Argentinian family who just opened a restaurant with the Muchas Gracias name, as I had always said, the sun shines for everyone.
I try to help everyone and always tell my employees that even when we make less than Americans, if we work hard and little bit more we will do fine. I have a family with six kids, and they all are involved in our business, some of them are studying, they come to work for couple of hours. I always tell them that they must study and work to be someone in life. If we didn’t have the opportunity to do something when we were young they must do it because we work very hard to provide opportunity for our family and give them a better future.
When you reach a point like where I am right now with my business working, a growing family, we must keep moving forward. If I had the chance to attend college back I would had loved to. But even now I would too. Learning never ends and when you were used to learn in 2 days before when you were single now you learn it in 10 minutes because you know what you want already.
"I was very lucky to achieve some of my dreams and goals and they have taken me to where I am today." Rodolfo says. The best advice I can share is to set goals. That is the biggest problem of our people, many of them don’t have goals and that’s what make them get lost in the way, if you want to do something, do it. You won’t lose anything by trying. Rodolfo Sanchez’s progress and overcoming of obstacles is proof that people can achieve just about anything that they set their mind to,
Published on Mi Gente Magazine August 2007: By Pepé Moscoso