Yuca’s Restaurant has been selected as a Hispanic Lifestyle 2018 Survived and Thrived Business Honoree. Yuca’s Restaurant along with their follow honorees will participate in Hispanic Lifestyle’s BizCon 2018 taking place on June 7, 2018 at the Ontario Airport Hotel and Conference Center.
Socorro Herrera launched Yuca’s Hut on April 1, 1976 with a simple business plan: to operate a lunch business out of a converted shoeshine stand in Los Feliz. There she would take orders, cook, serve the customers, and bask in the good feeling of people forming long lines to buy her goods. It wasn’t long after she opened that her little hut caught the attention of the L.A. Times food critic. Following the Times article (which encompassed the entire centerfold of the Food Section) Socorro’s dream became a reality, as well as giving Yuca’s a place at the forefront of L.A.’s Mexican Restaurant industry.
Today, Yuca’s is a neighborhood institution and, Mama Yuca’s, as Socorro has come to be known, is the icon. Mama and her tiny hut are still collecting accolades; the latest is being named #9 on Zagats list of “Best Mexican Restaurants in L.A.”. Not bad for an B x 10′ converted shoeshine stand!
Other significant achievements
2004: California Assembly Small Business Woman of the Year Award, Dora Herrera
2005: James Beard Award, America’s Classics category
2005: California Assembly Small Business Woman of the Year nominee, Socorro Herrera
2007: Named as “Best Burrito Ever” on the Oprah show
2016: Latino Small Business of the Year from Los Angeles Business journal
People don’t go to Yuca’s merely to eat amazing tacos (and, yes, burgers). Some customers met the love of their life over Cochinita Pibil tacos, some have a four-generations deep relationship with their burrito maker, some find out whats happening in L.A. because Mama’s daughter, Dora has her finger on the pulse of current events, and other dynamic happenings in the city. After all this time, it is a vibrant, must-go-to spot for a casual meet up, a special date, or to get involved in creating a dynamic Los Angeles.
Yuca’s chose to expand after 30 years, which coincided with the beginning of the 2008 U.S. recession. The business prospered in this downturn for ten years with the support of customers, Dora’s acceptance to the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurs Leadership Program, and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program. In 2017 Yuca’s Hollywood fell prey to skyrocketing rental costs’ undiscouraged by this turn of events, the Herrera family recently opened Yuca’s Pasadena. Here they are greeted daily by customers who are happy to see them survive & thrive!
Nomination submitted by Susie Low.