TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Meet a woman who has endured many challenges. A wife, mother, and business owner of Ruby’s Mexican Restaurant, Ruby Abarca.

“I started this whole dream once the COVID pandemic began. While I was out of work, I started selling food out of my mother’s home. That’s how it all got started. Thanks be to God!” said Abarca.

From humble beginnings and just $21 in her pocket, Ruby always dreamed of sharing her rich cultural heritage with the world. With a passion for cooking, she embarked on a journey that would later transform into a leading success in Tyler.

“The girl who helped take care of us would start cooking, and I would always ask, what are you putting in it? She would respond, if you want it to be more flavorful and less spicy, add more tomatoes and less chiles,” said Abarca.

Along with these cherished memories with her family, she brought the taste of Mexico to Tyler. We got an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of one of her kitchens.  A place where hard work and a touch of love are served up daily.

We asked what her favorite personal dishes were. “For me personally, it has to be the Doblados. Everyone really likes the Doblados as well as the red enchiladas. But right now, our menu is very extensive. Thanks be to God and everything sells well.”

From carne asada tacos, chilaquiles, enchiladas and much more. Two more brick-and-mortar locations are set to come to a place near you.

“She does a lot for the community too. You know, she helps the homeless people whenever they come in and get some food. We give them some because she has taught us to do so,” says Daniel Jaramillo, Manager of Ruby’s Mexican #3.

Ruby’s warm smile and genuine hospitality make everyone feel like family. She’s created an atmosphere that’s as inviting as the food itself.

“Even if I didn’t have it, I have always given. Whenever someone doesn’t have food, they can come in and we will give them food because I have also been through tough situations.”

Ruby’s legend extends far beyond her restaurants. She’s become a symbol of empowerment for women, especially those from underserved communities. Now, a well-known name on the rose vine, her story has inspired countless others to do the same. Including those in her community featured in the 90th Texas Rose Festival Parade.

“Whoever is going over there to be a part of that- be proud of that! Show everything that you all have for your Quinceañera and celebrate that day. Go represent all the Latinos,” said Jaramillo.

Ruby and her staff want to remind everyone that no matter where we come from, dreams can truly take us to extraordinary heights.

Thanks to Ruby’s first food truck, many East Texans stay around 3 a.m. for their taco fix. She will be serving up the flavors of Mexico at new locations set to open in late October, along with a second food truck coming soon.