Name: Boni Viveros
Job: Owner and operator
Business: Boni’s Tacos
What they said then: In July 2010, The Tribune featured Boni’s Tacos, a Cambria-based eatery.
Owned by Boni and Lupita Viveros, the restaurant began when the husband learned to make tacos al pastor from his brother. The pork dish quickly became a favorite with family, friends and eventually the booster booth at Coast Union High School, where their son Juan played football.
“It got really popular,” said Juan Viveros, explaining how over a few years the family’s mobile truck business grew to add a kitchen in Cambria’s Tin City. “We keep everything as authentic as possible. Everything is from scratch.”
Eventually, the business added a third location on First Street in Paso Robles.
What he says now: The Viveros family closed the Paso Robles restaurant in March 2011 and has been consolidating its focus on the two Cambria locations.
“We weren’t making money enough to pay the rent,” Boni Viveros said. “The location in Paso was not too good.”
That restaurant stayed open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But at the south end of the city off Spring Street, it was far from downtown and didn’t draw enough diners to be profitable.
In Cambria, the weekend taco truck on Main Street at Burton Drive is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The kitchen at 2405 Village Lane serves from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
In addition to family, three employees work at Boni’s Tacos, Viveros said.
“One every day, and two on the weekends.”
Both of the original locations are thriving, Viveros added. They draw a mix of local residents and tourists, and he finds the number of customers from the North County who continue to patronize Boni’s Tacos reassuring .
“Cambria is doing good,” he said. “We have people come from Paso and Atascadero to eat right here. There’s nothing wrong with our food.”
So he hasn’t tampered with the menu of Mexican staples or with prices, which range from $2 for a mini taco to $7.25 for chicken enchiladas.
But finding that the most effective draw has been recommendations from customers, the eatery is cutting spending on advertising. Focusing on the phone book and its website, Viveros is avoiding other promotions or coupons, which have not translated to sales for Boni’s Tacos in the past.
“I’m just going to keep what I have right now,” Viveros said. “Word of mouth is better.”
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