The American Dream can indeed become a reality for today’s immigrants. At least that is the story that Jesus Soto’s life would tell.
Soto will be inducted along with five other individuals or groups into the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame on Sept. 15.
Soto was born in Durango, Mexico, the third of seven siblings.
He and his wife immigrated to the United States, and Longmont in particular, 50 years ago in 1972 and tried to find a better life for his future family.
He first worked at Longmont Foods, and then transferred to the University of Colorado Boulder, where he worked as a janitor for three years. Needing to expand his horizons, he took a position with Coors Paper Packaging in Boulder, where he worked as a packaging inspector.
Knowing that professional growth would require education, he completed his GED and then earned a position at Precision Power Systems, where he learned about transformers, inductors and memory backup systems for large companies. He found mentors during this period of his life, and they inspired him to start his own business.
Finally in 1997, he realized his dream of owning his own business when he founded Las Americas Tortilleria at 830 Lashley Street in Longmont. Soto’s business that he ran with his family was the first tortilla factory in the state of Colorado. They made fresh tortillas every day and sold them directly to the public.
And it has been successful and popular.
The first thing I do every time I visit my mom in Longmont is stop here and get fresh salsa and warm tortillas right out of the oven. It’s so good and so affordable. You can’t find stuff like this in New York City,” one customer wrote.
And another customer wrote: “I’ve been going here for about 17 years. I like it. All of their tortillas are delicious, from corn to wheat. Surprisingly delicious. I take them to my family in California every time I visit. Now, that’s what they expect whenever they know I’m coming.”
Soto opened his second store, this one in Commerce City in March 2000. Other family members have opened stores throughout Colorado, as well as in Kansas and Nebraska.
He is the father of two daughters and the grandfather of five children.
The Hall of Fame event will be at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Boulder. Event information and tickets can be found on the event website.
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