Tuesday, December 01, 2015 • 06:43

Achieving the American Dream

July 30, 2014
The importance of small business to the nation's economy cannot be overemphasized. As the owner of a small business myself, I am always happy to recognize successful businesses that prosper through the hard work and determination of their owners.

Servando "Van" Cueva is a case in point. According to a recent Valley Center Roadrunner story, one day in 1973 Van stopped by Peg Henry's Mexican Restaurant in Pauma Valley for a cup of coffee. The dishwasher hadn't come in that day and Van volunteered his services. Van was hired permanently, and eventually was promoted to cook, waiter, and then bartender. Saving his money, he was able to buy the market adjoining the restaurant in 1994. Peg Henry, the restaurant's owner, admired Van and hoped he would be able to take over when she retired. In 2002, Van was able to purchase the newly renamed "El Rey Restaurant."

Van's work ethic has paid off. The reputation of El Rey Restaurant has grown, largely through word-of-mouth accolades spread by its customers. As a result, the property has tripled in value and, in a year or so, his debts will be repaid. Van's success has had a ripple effect throughout the community; 20 people are employed at his thriving enterprises in Pauma Valley.

A success story like Van's can only happen when people are free to achieve their dreams based on their abilities and willingness to work hard. Consequently, I take great pleasure in recognizing El Rey Restaurant in Pauma Valley as my August 2014 Business of the Month.

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