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James R.
Republican ID

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  • Recognizing La Plaza

    by Senator James E. Risch

    Posted on 2014-12-11

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    RISCH. Madam President, millions of American businesses have found their start in the living rooms, backyards, and garages of aspiring entrepreneurs. Harnessing individual creativity and work ethic, a talent can grow into a lasting enterprise. I wish to honor La Plaza, a restaurant from my home State of Idaho, whose hard work and dedication to quality has seen growth and prosperity while enhancing the local community.

    Founded in 2003, La Plaza offers unique and traditional Mexican fare, including an assortment of moles made with chocolate and dried peppers, to diners and visitors in southern Idaho. Guadalupe ``Lupe'' Loza and her husband, Chon, originally from Aguascalientes, Mexico, never planned to own a restaurant until their infant son required long-term hospitalization and they needed to fund his medical bills. As a self- taught chef, Lupe Loza started making tamales and empanadas in her kitchen and selling the food directly to local dairy workers and observers on local soccer fields. As her fans multiplied, and driven by the philosophy that ``farmers can dig the dirt and plant the seeds, but they can't make the plants grow,'' Lupe Loza took a leap of faith and opened the restaurant in a converted two-car garage, where customers sat at folding tables and ate off paper plates.

    Today, La Plaza operates out of a 1,992 square foot space on Buhl's Main Street, located on the old Oregon Trail in the western half of Twin Falls County. The Lozas are dedicated to creating and serving authentic Mexican cuisine and making costumers feel like they are eating at home with family. It is not surprising that after 11 years, La Plaza has received overwhelming praise from its diners and the larger community. The from-scratch food and ``grandmother's house'' feel have made La Plaza a local staple and traveler's destination. The small, yet diverse menu is updated frequently, accommodating customer feedback, requests, and favorites. From carne asada tacos to bacon- wrapped cheesy jalapeno bites, customers drive many miles out of their way to sample La Plaza's authentic Mexican cuisine. The restaurant has also expanded to cater at local venues, including the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration for the Latinos Unidos at the College of Southern Idaho. The Lozas dedication to excellence has earned La Plaza a five- star rating on Yelp, the second-highest rated restaurant in Buhl on Trip Advisor, and a 90 percent customer satisfaction rate on Urban Spoon.

    Over the past 11 years, La Plaza has doubled in size, and the homemade ranchero fajitas are now served on china plates instead of paper plates. I hope La Plaza's story will inspire others around the country to chase the American Dream. I congratulate the Loza family and the entire La Plaza team on their success, continued growth, and exemplary reputation for quality. La Plaza represents the best aspects of American entrepreneurship and is a credit to both Idaho and the Nation. ____________________

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