By Kelly Newsom | Photos by Killion Newsom
José and Maria Perez, owners of the Main Street restaurant Las Milpas are people who when you get to know them tug on your heartstrings a bit. They are equally passionate about their family history as they are the food they serve. I don’t speak Spanish and although the Perez’s speak some English is wasn’t the easiest interview from a flow perspective. But in the end it really didn’t matter that we had to repeat ourselves multiple times or ask for clarification. What came of our conversation was about the importance of family, the appreciation of their customers and that their food comes from the heart.
“We always have a good experience with everyone who comes in.” – Maria Perez
A FAMILY AFFAIR
José: My family, my brothers own restaurants all over; Petaluma, Yuba City, Chico and Vallejo. A cousin owns an Italian restaurant too! We also cooked when we lived in Mexico.
Kelly: How did you learn to cook? Maria: My mother was my teacher. She taught me all the recipes, how to make salsa, fresh corn tortillas…everything we have. Now I’m teaching my employees. We make fresh corn tortillas everyday. Some recipes also come from the previous owner and our friends and family.
Kelly: You’re emotional. What’s making you feel this way? Maria: Talking about my mother. It has brought back a lot of memories.
Note: Everyday Maria uses her mother’s recipes and prepares them the way she was taught. She has this history and everyday, whether she realizes it or not, is bringing that history forward to the present. How cool is that?
Maria: We are from Guadalajara Jalisco Mexico. José moved here when he was 18 years old and then came back to Mexico. We got married in Mexico. I was 20 years old when we moved to Union City. We owned a Mexican food truck there. José: We had a route and went to all the companies there. We then moved and bought this restaurant 9 years ago. It is 9 years on August 1st. Maria: Las Milpas means the four corn stalks.
Kelly: Where are you living now? Maria: Right now we live in Yuba City. We want to move to Woodland and that will happen soon. The driving is hard.
To learn more about Jalisco Mexico, click here.
ONE OF MANY MEXICAN RESTAURANTS IN TOWN
José: We have been here nine years. Maria: It’s not always easy. We stay strong, we try to be nice to everyone who comes in. We make our food with the heart. We don’t compete, we are for everyone. José: Every region in Mexico cooks their food a little bit different, so our food will taste different from another restaurant. It is not all the same. Business can be hard but everyone is welcome, anytime. Maria: Every customer is nice. American, Mexican, Indian, we have all kinds of people and we always have a good experience with everyone who comes in.
Visit Las Milpas’s website for hours of operation and menu here
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