Tell us about yourself and your family.
I was born in Cancun, Mexico and was raised in Owensboro. I graduated from Apollo High School in 2013 and attended Brescia University. Growing up in Owensboro, I’ve always enjoyed the tight-knit community feel that revolves here. My husband Luis Figueroa and I moved to multiple locations, but I knew that I wanted to raise my family in Owensboro. As soon as the opportunity came, we established our home here and welcomed our son Franco Figueroa Radilla. I am a confirmation catechist at Sts. Joseph and Paul for our Hispanic community. I volunteer my time and talents to our youth to help inspire and guide them.
During my teenage years, I watched my parents work very hard and knew that I wanted to help them when I grew older. December 2019 the opportunity came, and we opened Don Mario’s Mexican Restaurant downtown. Just like everyone else, we suffered during Covid-19 and had to shut our doors; however, we did not lose hope to re-open and come back stronger than before. Along with my parents we have successfully maintained our restaurant downtown and are blessed with the support of this community. My husband has always been very supportive of my business decisions and strongly encourages me to continuously follow my dreams. In the fall of 2023, we had an opportunity that would change our lives forever and now I can proudly say we own multiple restaurants in town that include Real Hacienda, Real Hacienda 54 and Real Hacienda Express food truck.
How do you balance life as a business owner and mom?
As a young entrepreneur and mother of a 7-year-old, life is very adventurous! My son has autism, so our life depends on calendar reminders to keep up with his appointments and his therapies. I must plan my days, weeks and months ahead of schedule in order to be able to persevere. When I am at work, I stay focused on tasks to make sure we have catering orders, food truck routes, restaurant maintenance and make supplier orders on time. When I am with my son, I am no longer a restaurant owner but a “silly Mommy” as Franco would say. My son is a blessing to me and I always find the time and energy to keep up with him.
I am blessed that I have a huge support group that includes both my younger sisters and my parents always pitching in to help with any of my needs.
What do you hope your son learns from your entrepreneurship?
Being a female minority in our community, I not only want to be a role model to my son but also to my younger sisters. I want them to know that when you work at something that you truly enjoy and do it with humility and grace, anything is possible. Life is not easy, and it will knock you down a million times but you have to get up every time and work harder than before in order to reach your goals.
What do you want Owensboro to know about you and/or your businesses?
I want our customers to know that we wake up every day with a big smile knowing that we are providing delicious meals to our community. Our family works in all of our restaurants in effort to make sure we can provide the best version of ourselves to your table. We listen to all your suggestions and help resolve any concerns in a timely manner and want to continue earning your love and respect as a community member. We strive to support our local businesses, organizations and schools to help fund our future, which is our children and youth. I want to thank everyone who has continued to support my family and our dreams and know that we will work hard every day to provide the best Mexican food that we can to you and your family.
What is your best advice for other parents?
To any parent that is feeling overwhelmed, know that you are not alone. The best way to overcome any obstacle is to be organized and believe in the power of prayer. If you have a significant other, always lift each other up and help them become the better version of themselves. No one is a perfect parent; we all have our flaws, but the important thing is to keep trying and show our kids to never give up.