Papi Mexican restaurant owner Marcos Valdés inspired his nephew to start his new clothing business at age 17.
LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ) – From humble beginnings to now becoming an inspiration to others, including his family, the man behind Papi’s Mexican Restaurant is reflecting on his journey, creating the restaurant.
What began as a dream for Marcos Valdés has become a reality.
Owning a couple of restaurants in the city of Lexington, but the journey of owning a business was not easy.
Marcos is originally from Córdoba, in the state of Veracruz, Mexico.
“I came to Lexington 22 years ago from Mexico, and my whole life in Mexico was working in restaurants. So I was very familiar with the concept and then when I got here I obviously started working in restaurants as well,” recalls Valdés, who is now the owner of Papi’s Mexican Restaurant.
After years of patience, hard work and savings, the impossible became possible for Valdés.
“Finally, about five years ago, I found that the place wasn’t too expensive. It was a complicated place. Because it doesn’t have much parking on its own second floor. But I did it anyway, I wanted to do it and I did it either way it was worth it,” she says.
Its original location on Euclid Avenue remains open having survived the pandemic.
When asked how he ended up in Lexington, Valdes says it’s all thanks to his mother.
“We were seven brothers. So he came here and he loved the place. And then she met my stepdad, she married him, and then she was able to bring us all the time,” she says, too.
Valdes’ hard work and determination have even inspired his nephew to pursue his own clothing business as well.
“Seeing Marcos and how much work he put in, of course, he said, 18 years working just as a server, that helps a lot to grow seeing that because you realize it’s more about putting your head down and just going. and make it more than you can talk about it,” adds his nephew, Jayd Huynh, who has just opened an online clothing store, called Everthing’s Possible.
Marcos and his nephew say it’s wonderful to see the Hispanic and Latino population continue to grow in Lexington.
“I have seen an explosion of growth in the Hispanic community. It’s wonderful,” says Marcos.
Valdés adds that his mother often expresses how proud she is of him.