Combining cultures

Sophomore works at her family business


Sophomore Andrea Perez-Xique’s sister, Maria Perez, helps out a customer on Feb. 15. She is the second oldest sibling in her family.

Sophomore Andrea Perez-Xique remembers one of her first days of work with her siblings at their new family restaurant. This was her first job, and she recalled that no one in her family was prepared to work on their first day.
“We weren’t all prepared for that day,” Perez-Xique said. “For most of us, this was our first fast food job (since) the rest of my siblings (worked) in retail. It was kind of funny because we did ruin a lot of orders, and it was a very bad day, but (also a) fun day.”
The family restaurant, called El Sabor Mexican and Chinese food, started off as a food truck and later became a restaurant at the beginning of COVID-19. The food truck was strictly Mexican food at first, but Chinese food was added after the transition.
The reason for the addition of the new culture was because her dad worked at an authentic Chinese restaurant in Iowa for eight years and had gotten experience with the cuisine.
Perez-Xique recalls being a little scared at the start of the transition. With a bigger place to work at, more work would have to be put into maintaining a good condition. Not

only that, but there was a fear that the restaurant might not take off.

Sophomore Andrea Perez-Xique

But with the third-year anniversary of the restaurant that just passed, the restaurant has been able to stay afloat. Perez-Xique’s mom has thought about expanding the business, but the struggle of finding other employee’s has delayed the idea.
Every Friday after school and on Saturdays, Perez-Xique goes to work. Sometimes when there is a school break, she spends her days working shifts at the restaurant. Despite being younger than most who work there, she does not let that discourage her.
“A lot of people think that because I’m younger, I don’t know what I’m doing.” Perez-Xique said.
But even with a much bigger place to work at, Perez-Xique still gets her job done.
Being a shy person and not having experience in the food industry, her sister, Maria Perez, says she overcame the fear of getting out into the world and interacting with others.
Perez gives her sister tips for her to learn, and Perez-Xique is quick to learn from those tips. From the family’s seven kids, Perez described her as the one who matured the most.
“She’s definitely a quick learner,” Perez said. “everything that she sees or anything, something that she wants to learn, she has that focus on doing that.”