New Mexican restaurant in Leeds serves up winning reviews and attracts diners from across the city

Less than 6 months after opening, a new Mexican restaurant has landed a place in the top 100 restaurants in Leeds, in a list of almost 1500 eating establishments as rated by users of TripAdvisor. Located outside of the city centre, on the busy Cardigan Road, Lupe’s Cantina Mexicana the restaurant was opened in February 2016 by Rudy and Tansy Garcia and employs seven staff.

The passion of Mexican food is right at the heart of those who run Lupe’s Cantina Mexicana. Born and raised in Veracruz in Mexico, Rudy Garcia had been a part of the family food business since childhood. Together with his wife Tansy, they identified an opportunity to open a small family run restaurant serving traditional family recipes in Leeds. With support provided as part of the Start & Grow programme, Rudy and Tansy were helped by Haroon Qammar, Business Adviser at West & North Yorkshire Chamber. Haroon helped them to create a robust business plan, which resulted in them securing a loan of £15,000 from the Start Up Loans Company.
Additional support in the form of focused training days has provided them with confidence to create an ambitious vision for their business.

The start-up loan was used to secure the premises and set the business up. Little, if any money was left over for marketing. However, the pair recognised the power of word of mouth and have maximised this powerful source of customers. Many of their customers travel quite a distance to eat at their restaurant, which is testament to the power of a good review. One of the most important connections they made was with the Mexican society at The University of Leeds. Picture this - a Mexican restaurant in Leeds, full of Mexicans enjoying the food of their home country – surely one of the best forms of marketing there can be!

Tansy commented “During our first year of business, we are focused on establishing our restaurant and gaining a good reputation for high quality food and service. Beyond this we have hopes of being able to expand into other locations. It’s early days, but we are thrilled by the customer feedback that we have received so far.”
The West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce work with a range of local start-up businesses as part of the national Start & Grow programme delivered in this area and would be delighted to hear from others looking to start up in business to see if they meet the criteria of the programme.


Notes for Editors and contact details

1. Lupe’s Cantina Mexicana is based on Cardigan Road, Leeds and opened in May 2016. Rudy Garia Tel: 07740 123603 Tansy Garcia Tel: 0113 345 3070

2. The West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce have offices in Bradford, Leeds and York. Contact Business Advisor Haroon Qamar Tel: 01274 772777

About Start & Grow

Start & Grow is a national programme run by Cavendish Enterprise and funded by the Regional Growth Fund that provides a range of pre and post start support to individuals across England looking to start a business. The programme is available to those looking to start a business which expects to employ people from its early stages and where start-up financing is required to get the venture off the ground.

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National Enterprise Network is the only membership body in England representing those working in the enterprise support sector. We believe our members are crucial to Britain’s economic success. Our role is to support their work, promote the results they achieve, and connect them with opportunities for even greater success. NEN membership is traditionally, but not exclusively, made up of not-for-profit enterprise support organisations providing independent and impartial advice, training and mentoring to new and emerging businesses. The organisation represents a variety of enterprise support organisations; including enterprise agencies, Chambers of Commerce, local authorities and other specialist providers.