TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Ruby Abarca is well-known in Tyler. She is the owner of three Ruby’s Mexican Restaurants, and she is getting ready to open a fourth and fifth location in the future.

Abarca said her journey to opening her businesses has not always been easy because she was born in Mexico and English is not her first language. But, she has always had the support of her family, three kids and her loyal customers.

She opened the doors to her first restaurant on Aug. 15, 2019.

“I feel very proud and satisfied with everything I have achieved. I am 35-years-old and I think it is a good age to be able to say that I have been able to overcome and help. I have always wanted more. I have never thought of stopping or conforming,” said Abarca.

She worked in restaurants in the past and she also sold food out of her home. Abarca sold items like tacos and tamales, and she said several people encouraged her to start a restaurant.

Paulina Pedroza was Abarca’s English teacher a few years ago, and she would also tell her to open a business.

“I told her, ‘teacher, it is not that easy,'” said Abarca.

At one point, she said health department officials tried to close down the food business she was running from her mom’s home.

“When people tried to shut us down, it was like they wanted our business to end. But, I became more determined,” said Abarca.

Pedroza then helped her find the building on East Gentry Parkway. Some of Abarca’s friends also gave her money for the refrigerators and another friend gave her money to buy items from Sam’s. Abarca also sold some of her own jewelry and used credit cards to finance her first restaurant.

She thanks God for her businesses. She also credits her success to “los doblados y él amor con él que hacemos la comida.” This translates to her famous doblados tacos and the love that she puts into making the food.

Abarca said her three children ages 7, 15 and 18 motivate her.

“It will always be my children. I think they are my weakness and my strength,” she said.

Nancy Rangel, the President of the Hispanic Business Alliance in Tyler, was at Abarca’s grand opening for her third restaurant.

“She is just a phenomenal lady. To be able to see how she learned everything from years back from herself being an employee at a restaurant,” she said. “She opened up her own business and was very successful with it. She is very creative, very organized and is able to really take her business to a different level.”

Abarca also offered the following advice to any Hispanic community members also interested in starting a business.

“Do not get intimidated. Do it. It is difficult when you don’t know anything. Do not give up. Try it. You can go out there. You can do it!” Abarca said.

If anyone is interested in starting a business, the Tyler Hispanic Business Alliance (HBA) offers different resources for people.

The have information on how to start a business, roundtable discussions and courses to help entrepreneurs through the whole process. They offer courses in Spanish, and some are free and others have a service fee. HBA said their classes are taught by experts. For example, if they are covering taxes, then it will be taught by a Certified Public Accountant.

For more details about the HBA, email nrangel@tylertexas.com.