La Carreta History
Mr. Rubio’s entrepreneurial story began in the small town of Queretaro, Mexico where he watched his mother cook and serve in her own, Restaurante Tina’s, founded in 1967. The family restaurant was connected to their home and thus became a normal part of Mr. Rubio’s early life. On growing up in the business, Mr. Rubio says, “Our customers were a part of the family.”
His parents taught him the importance of a strong work ethic and gave him the confidence to enter a new country, establish himself, and pursue his own dreams. After graduating from Universidad Cauhtemoc, in Mexico, with a degree in Business Administration, Mr. Rubio came to the U.S. to focus on his future. He desired to continue the family tradition here in the states. Thus, he eagerly tackled any job he could, including washing dishes, waiting tables, and construction work, in order to accumulate enough money to open his own restaurant one day. Mr. Rubio explains, “It was important to me that I learn all the jobs. You have to know all of the restaurant business, not just the cooking.”
At the suggestion of a friend, Mr. Rubio came to check out Hammond, a small yet growing college town in South Louisiana that did not have a Mexican restaurant. During his visit, he contacted the Chamber of Commerce who encouraged him with more information about potential growth for the area. “From a marketing standpoint, Hammond was the ideal place for a small restaurant,” Mr. Rubio said, “I knew in my heart it would succeed.”
In 1998, after three years of diligently saving money and securing a loan from a former boss, in 1998, Mr. Rubio opened the first La Carreta Restaurant next to the railroad tracks in the heart of Historic Downtown Hammond. “Saving money in America is easy. You make more money here and when you work every day you have no time to spend it,” he explains. “In Mexico, you have to spend every dollar you make just to live.”
In 2002, he opened Adobe Cantina and Salsa and has now expanded to include multiple successful locations of La Carreta Restaurants across Southern Louisiana, in Amite, Denham Springs, La Place, Mandeville, Ponchatoula, Covington, Houma, and two locations in Baton Rouge.