Hacienda Celebrates 10 Years Of Serving Authentic Mexican Food In Bartow
by James Coulter
Maria Ochoa and her sister, Carolina Arredondo, opened Hacienda Mexico Restaurante in Bartow 10 years ago. Since then, their resturant has continued to serve locals with Mexican food as authentic as actual food served in Mexico.
The two sisters received plenty of experience working for other Mexican resturaunts, and the food they serve on a regular basis, from the tacos and burritos, to the enchiladas and quesadillas, proves that. Since opening their eatery a decade ago, their food has gained a reputation of bringing the flavor of Mexico to Downtown Bartow.
Everything is made fresh, including the complimentary chip and salsa served to every customer upon entering. No corners are cut. Everything is made to order with only the freshest ingredients, ensuing flavor authentic to Mexican cooking.
“Hacienda is noteworthy for its delicate flavors and sauces that are light and fresh, as in a dish of plump, grilled shrimp and tidbits of tender beef, presented with a sauté of mushrooms and onions floating in a thin sauce brightened with a kiss of tomato,” a review from The Ledger explained.
Last Saturday, Maria and her sister celebrated a decade of being in business with Hacienda Mexico Restaurante during their anniversary celebration on Saturday. During the special occasion, both sisters and a few of their other relatives staff members dressed in decorative Mexican attire.
When asked how their business has thrived within the past decade, Maria had only one obvious answer: her customers. By providing only the best customer service to both regulars and newcomers, she has ensured that anyone who comes to her eatery wants to come again, she said.
“That is one of our big things,” she said. “We try to make our customers happy. And we try to please them and make sure that when they come in, they enjoy their food. If there is something wrong, we try to fix it. And try our very best to let them leave happy.”
Maria herself loves interacting with the customers. She loves nothing more than being able to meet them and strike up a chat with them, seeing how they are enjoying their meal and asking how their meal can be improved. Such personable customer service has kept them going for the past decade, and she expects it to allow her continue going for another.
Her sister, Carolina, likewise agreed. She started with her sister as a server and has since become a co-owner with her. She also loves being able to interact with the customers and see how well their meal is going.
“I would say that we try to help people the best that we can,” she said. “We do our best. All our cooking is homemade, made here, and to order. We try to make everybody happy.”
Maria and her sister opened the eatery on Jan. 4, 2010. They were inspired to open it after Maria’s husband opened a similar eatery in Winter Haven.
Since then, Hacienda has thrived to the point where a potential expansion is upon the horizon, perhaps even in the form of a second location in a different city. Until then, Maria expects to continue serving authentic homemade Mexican food for another ten years and counting.
“If they want really good Mexican authentic food, we cook for their pleasing,” she said. “I would like to thank everybody. Thank you for keeping us here these ten years. We are very happy to be here.”
Hacienda Mexico Restaurante is located at 195 E. Main St., Bartow. For more information, call 863-533-7600.