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Crowd, Community Join Together To Celebrate El Ranchito Success
El Ranchito Restaurant offered guests a variety of food items to delight in during the 50-year anniversary celebration on Saturday. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS

The sunshine was peering through the clouds and the cool breeze was blowing as guests parked and made their way to El Ranchito Restaurant for the 50-Year Anniversary Celebration of the business on Saturday afternoon, April 15.

The Tinajero family started their restaurant business in 1967, which was a vision created by Luz Elena Yepez-Tinajero. The family-run business has seen several generations of customers come through their establishment and they have made many new friends through the years.

Guests arrived on scene with the fitting sounds of Mariachi music swirling through the festivities performed live by Mariachi Nuevo Continental that included the traditional violins, guitars, and trumpets.

The restaurant provided a variety of items from their menu including ceviche, tostadas, beans, rice, jalapeno poppers, and homemade Chicharones. Guests lined up to grab a few tasty bites at the celebration and there were some refreshments like margaritas, tea, and water offered to wash it all down.

Father Camilo Garcia from St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Stockton gave the Tinajero family a special blessing at the event.

Former Riverbank Mayor Virginia Madueño assisted the family in organizing the event and was the master of ceremonies during the presentations and commendations.

“I had a hard time believing that this has been here for 50 years,” stated Madueño. “As probably a lot of you remember this is not the original building. I had the fortunate opportunity to sit with Mrs. Tinajero. I want to tell you this woman right here, this mother, this grandmother, this entrepreneur, this business owner, this visionary, she started cooking at the age of nine-years-old to help support her family.”

There was much applause after Madueño brought that fact to light at the event about Mrs. Tinajero and all the hard work that the family has put into the business.

“It is a tribute to this family for their unity, for their hard work, for their perseverance,” added Madueño. “Fifty years ago this lady (Mrs. Tinajero) had a dream to own her own business. Fifty years ago it was so difficult to own a business, let alone a Latina, an immigrant; this ladies and gentlemen, is a tribute to an immigrant success story here in the United States.”

Local Assemblyman Heath Flora presented the Tinajero family with a framed resolution from the California State Legislature for their 50 years of service to the community. Flora added that they look forward to another 50 years.

A special recognition was presented to the family from the Riverbank City Council presented by councilmember Darlene Barber Martinez for an exceptional 50 years in business.

“It is truly an honor to be here and to be part of the celebration,” said Martinez. “We thank you so very much.”

Pete Butler, representing Congressmen Jeff Denham’s office, presented the family with a special congressional recognition for their 50 Year Anniversary.

Representative Frank Damrell with Senator Cathleen Galgiani’s office presented the family a commendation for their hard work and for being part of the community.

George Tinajero, whom Madueño stated makes the best margaritas, gave a speech thanking everyone for supporting the business and grateful for all they have accomplished over the years.

Dancers from Modesto called Grupo Anahuac performed for guests at the celebration in their colorful costumes, providing an energetic performance.

The parking lot was packed with people and with all the chatter, applause, hugs and smiles circulating throughout the crowd, the celebration was felt by all.