Photo: Jose Torres
The Mexican Jose Torres arrived in the United States undocumented and unable to speak English, but after 15 years he is an outstanding student, works in the Chicago Archdiocese and is getting ready to open a second store for selling juices and natural foods in another of the city’s train stations.
The 38-year-old Torres, married and with two children ages 10 and 15, says his business success is thanks to his immigrant’s fighting spirit and his ability to spot opportunities in the midst of a crisis.
In 2009, when he lost his job as director of a vocational school for adults, he put his mind to what he had learned about economics when he was 20 and studying at the university in his hometown of San Luis Potosi, before coming to the United States.
“It had to be a simple, low-cost business that would give me an immediate income,” Torres told Efe.
“That’s when I remembered the natural juices for sale on every corner in Mexico, something that didn’t exist in the food stalls in this city’s train stations,” the businessman said.
Obtaining a concession from the municipal transport company to bring that business to Chicago wasn’t easy, but he managed to convince officials with his proposal and to be considered for a program promoting small businesses.
Soon afterwards the first Lupito’s Juice Bar opened for business in an elevated train station on Damon Avenue, which today serves some 1,200 people during its 12 hours a day, and whose year of success has paved the way to a second store, this time near the campus of Loyola University on Chicago’s north side.
Besides natural salads and sandwiches, Lupito’s offers coffee and juices named after the city’s train lines.
The name Lupito’s is a tribute to his two paternal grandparents who were called Guadalupe.