Los Mesones is an actual family business. Noemi and I were neighbors as children in Aguascalientes, Mexico, but did not reconnect until years later when I moved to Denver and took a job at a bakery owned by Noemi’s uncle. Noemi and I come from generations of business owners, chefs, and bakers, so starting a restaurant felt natural. We opened Los Mesones Restaurant in 2007. Noemi’s mother continues to make the mole, gorditas, and sopes and her father bakes the bread and pastries that we sell in our restaurant. We have relied on the help of our extended family to make the business a success – even our daughters’ boyfriends help sometimes! Like many other restaurants, ours struggled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We were low on reserves when we reopened but were able to work with the West Colfax BID to apply for a city grant that helped us pay the bills. Without that support, we would have had to close our business. We also counted on community support to stay afloat during the pandemic. We worked with the organization Feeding America to prepare meals for needy families and donated meals to a community arts organization in the Valverde neighborhood. Noemi and I hope to continue the legacy of our parents by giving back to our community in all the ways we can.We collaborate with as many community organizations as we can support. I believe in what my mother taught me: you will receive twice what you give, and you never know where help will come from. That helped us during the pandemic.