Success Stories: Someburros
Pursuit of quality: A Vasquez family tradition that never ends
By Matthew Garcia
What began more than 30 years ago in south Phoenix with a quaint mom-and-pop restaurant named Ponchos has developed into one of the Kyrene Corridor Ďs fast-food staples, Someburros.
The same old family recipes and hard work that led to the success of Ponchos remain the cornerstone of this growing restaurant empire.
With Ponchos still thriving at its original south Phoenix location and Someburros expanded from one store toĖsoon to beĖthree, Someburros owner Tim Vasquez, a Corona del Sol graduate, says quality will never be a cost of growth.
Wrangler News: Who came up with the name Someburros and what does it mean?
Tim Vasquez: Itís a name my mother came up with. She was trying to play on the word sombreros. Also, our mascot is a donkey or burro. My mother is the creative one of the family.
WR: When did Someburros first open?
Vasquez: My father opened our first Tempe location in 1983. At the time my father was more interested in putting his focus on the family, so he didnít attempt to expand the restaurant after the first Someburros.
WR: Why did your father decide to expand?
Vasquez: He saw the possibility of having Ponchos same great food provided to customers a little faster.
WR How long have you worked for Someburros?
Vasquez: Since I was a very young. When I was a little boy, I would dress up in the donkey costume and stand on the corner.
WR: When did you take over the operation of the business?
Vasquez: After I graduated from Arizona State University, I went on to play pro baseball. Then, in 1998, I came back to the family business. Since 1998, Iíve been focused on the growth of Someburros. We opened a new restaurant in 2002 in Gilbert, and we have plans to open one at the Chandler Mall in 2005.
WR: How far are going to take your business growth?
Vasquez: Quality is the number one priority, and it always has been. If the quality of the food canít be sustained with the growth, then weíll stop. However, I would like to expand to five or six restaurants. Then, like my father once did, Iíd like to sit back and focus on my family.
WR: Do you see most of the growth continuing in the suburban parts of the Phoenix area?
Vasquez: Yes, our demographic exists in the suburban area. We cater to young, busy families who want a good, complete meal, but donít have time to make one.
WR: How does your father feel about the changes?
Vasquez: Heís excited. He been involved in the restaurant business for so long, when I took over the business it was very difficult for him to let go. My father is still heavily involved with the operation of Someburros.
WR: How does the family business affect the family relations?
Vasquez: Our family works well together, while itís primarily my father and I that run the restaurants, my sister is the manager of the Gilbert restaurant. We all have the same goal of keeping the quality our food high.