Vincente’s travels in Chihuahua and Poncho Villa. Check back next month for more and in the meantime, check out our family’s food catalog and try a taste of our legacy.
Chihuahua and Poncho Villa
Just like Monterey, Chihuahua was facing its own challenges at the hands of Poncho Villa. After shooting a man at age 15 who was harassing one of his sisters, Poncho fled to the mountains where he joined forces with other fugitives and became a bandito. He lived this lifestyle for many years
Poncho helped Francisco Madero to overthrow the Mexican dictator; Porfirio Diaz. When Madero was made president of Mexico, he made Poncho Villa a colonel in the Mexican army.
Mutual Admiration and Family Values
Vincente and Ana lived a fairytale romance. They held each other up in the highest regard and always showed their love. It was not at all uncommon for Vincente to show up with a bouquet of flowers for Ana.
Their priority was family and everyone worked together. When their eight children were young, Vincente built a step stool so that the youngest could reach the kitchen counter and help with cooking and dishes. Every night, the children polished their shoes so they could look their best the next day. The family operated on the Golden Rule and always putting your best foot forward.
All eight children were born in the United States, making them American citizens by birth. Vincente naturalized on 15 July 1949. There are no known naturalization papers for Ana and it is assumed that she never naturalized.
Early Attempts at Business
Before marrying Ana, Vincente had a number of business ventures while still in Mexico. At one time, he owned a store similar to a Dollar General, which was located outside of a silver mine.
In 1923, Vincente moved to East Chicago, Indiana and continued his pursuits at various business ventures. He built upon his retail experience by first working at a furniture store and later selling typewriters door-to-door. This then evolved into banking. He focused on business lending with a priority for Mexican entrepreneurs.
After a while, he opened his own men’s suit business during which time suits were sold via fabric swatches. Once the suit came in, Vincente would size it to his customer altering the stock suit into a custom fitting. This business supported Vincente and his growing family nicely for a few years.
One Vincente left the store to meet with customers. It was a busy day that took the full attention. Vincente returned to the store in mid-afternoon only to find that he had been robbed. However, it was not a normal robbery. In this event, the thieves took every piece of clothing, all of the furniture and fixtures out of the building leaving the store empty. The store looked as if the business had never been there at all! A police report was filed, although it is no longer available today. No one was ever held accountable for the robbery.
Vincente was devastated. Stunned by the reality of losing everything, Vincente walked out the front of the store and stared off into space trying to figure out what he would do next to support his growing family. He didn’t have the money to restock the store again and he could not get a business loan to accomplish that task.
His neighbor in the commercial district, a Mr. Goodman, was a druggist who saw Vincente standing out in front of his store. He walked out onto the street to talk with Vincente to see what was wrong. Vincente then showed the druggist his now vacant store.
Luckily, the druggist had a side business of buying gold and then selling gold. Vincente offered to help and in no time, a partnership was established. In that one afternoon, Vincente went from being a tailor to a gold broker. The scale from that business remains in the family to this day.
Stayed tuned for our next story about how the food business began. In the meantime, enjoy our family’s food knowing the rich history behind the taste!