‘The Taco Stand’ author, restaurateur instills family values, gives back

First-time author and Someburros owner, Tim S. Vasquez launches his book, “The Taco Stand,” on Nov. 12 at the restaurant’s Queen Creek location, 20707 E. Maya Road. (Submitted photo)

Simmering from his family restaurant kitchens, Someburros owner Tim S. Vasquez cooks up family values and serves them in “The Taco Stand.”

Mr. Vasquez, who grew up in the kitchen of his parents’ Mexican restaurant in Tempe, uses the foundation of family as the impetus for the book that pays homage to his grandmother whose recipes are still used in the family’s restaurants .

Owner and operator of his family’s restaurants, Someburros and Isabel’s Amor, he strives to honor the legacy of his Nana Isabel and Tata Poncho, not only through the restaurants but with his first attempt at writing children’s literature.

Continuing his family restaurant legacy, Mr. Vasquez opened a Someburros at 20707 E. Maya Road in Queen Creek, which recently celebrated its one year anniversary in September.

Last year, the restaurant donated a percentage of the first month’s sales to the Queen Creek High School Marching Band. His new book, debuting at the Queen Creek restaurant, will also benefit the Queen Creek school district where he plans on reading to classes.

“The Taco Stand” front cover. (Submitted photo)

“The Taco Stand” is a fictional story about a family matriarch, Isabel, who’s “cooked-with-love” Mexican food attracts a possible investor interested in changing her life with a major business opportunity, a press release on the book described.

Targeted readers, ages 4-10, follow the matriarch, Isabel as she stirs decisions about the importance of family and fortune; continuing her humble way of cooking for her community or going commercial in the business world.

Interested in younger generations, Mr. Vasquez wants to share his lifetime of lessons.

“You can’t put a price on family and togetherness and that’s a main focus of this book,” said Mr. Vasquez, who loves baseball and working with children.

He also hosts free baseball clinics for underprivileged boys and girls in Guadalupe, Arizona, where his family has deep roots.

Also showing the importance of family, Mr. Vasquez had his aunt, Linda Kay Ost, illustrate the 40-page book. He explains below just how important family is while maintaining his family business and giving back to the community.

How long have you been in business? Someburros has been in business in the Valley for 32 years and our Queen Creek location has been open for over a year.

Briefly describe your business/services offered: Someburros is a family-owned-and-operated Mexican fast-casual restaurant that offers authentic, award-winning food for the whole family.

What made you choose this line of work and why is it important/interesting to you? I didn’t choose this line of work, so much as it chose me — but I wouldn’t have it any other way. This was my family’s business, and it’s been a part of me for as far back as I can remember.

The first-ever Someburros location opened when I was 11, and I worked there part-time while attending Arizona State University. I was following a business path, but I realized there was a clear opportunity to combine my business education with my long-time love and passion for food and family.

At the end of the day, what brings you the most joy or is the most rewarding aspect about your business? Honestly, the most rewarding thing about my particular line of work is the opportunity it gives me to honor my grandparents.

My grandmother, Isabel, is the source behind Someburros’ recipes, and she’s also the inspiration for The Taco Stand, a book I initially authored about eight years ago as a keepsake for my family and recently decided to get published.

What separates you from your competition? Someburros has a hyper-local, family-oriented focus, and while each new location offers the same family-friendly atmosphere and consistency in terms of product, each one also has a unique, community-specific feel.

It’s also a family affair on all fronts, having started with my grandparents and now employing my own daughter, nephew and other family members as well as the families we’ve built within each location.

What civic groups, clubs, organizations or causes do you or your business support? Someburros has long had a hand in local affairs, and we often concentrate our efforts in the communities where we operate.

In addition to partnering with local elementary and high schools to sponsor sports teams and run promotions for educators, among related endeavors, we’re donating a percentage of the proceeds raised by The Taco Stand sales to Guadalupe’s Frank Elementary School.

Why did you choose Queen Creek for your business? Through the years, we’ve found that our best locations tend to be in tight-knit family communities where people are constantly on the go. We offer an affordable, convenient and high-quality meal that’s ready whenever residents need it.

Tell readers about your family, ie: spouse, kids, pets? I’ve known my wife, Julie, since kindergarten, and we’re a classic case of high school sweethearts. She’s also an amazing cook, which doesn’t hurt, either.

Together, we share three great kids: Cody, a sophomore at Campo Verde High School who’s been featured on the Food Network and even cooked for the FLOTUS; Isabel, an ASU graduate who now serves as Someburros’ operations manager; and Camden, who currently plays baseball at the University of San Diego.

Sunny, our Goldendoodle, is also a constant source of joy in our lives.

Where are you from? I’m born and bred locally, in Tempe, and nowadays, I call Gilbert home.

Who was the biggest influence in your life? My father, George Vasquez, has always been my role model, and he taught me everything from how to run a restaurant to how to take risks.

He put his life savings into Someburros, and it paid off — but, had it not, he’d still be the kindest, fairest man I’ve ever known, and he’d still be everything I wish to embody as a family man and business owner.

What advice would you give to someone contemplating starting their own business? Being a business owner can be a wonderful thing, but it definitely has its ups and downs. You have to go into it anticipating that there will be times when you struggle, but once you get into the swing of things, there’s nothing more rewarding.

Why it was important to write your book and help youth? We have a personal connection to Guadalupe’s Frank Elementary School, and we’ve always placed a tremendous value on education.

This book gave us an opportunity to give back to the community that gave us so much, and it also gives us a chance to spotlight my grandmother Isabel’s efforts and show fans the history behind the recipes.

Anything interesting about yourself and your profession: We have eight locations now, but we’re not going for explosive growth. Instead, we take our time with everything from selecting a location to making sure food quality and customer service is on par with what our fans have come to expect from us. It’s a process you truly can’t rush.

Locals who get “The Taco Stand” book, Nov. 12-18, at any Someburros location in the Valley or Isabel’s Amor will receive a free dessert of their choice including churros, chocolate chimis.

The book, published by Chandler-based Story Monsters, is also available at Amazon and TheTacoStandBook.com.

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