Tablet Business

Woman starts Mexican food restaurant from scratch

Althea Anderson didn’t come to Texas to stuff tacos with carne asada, pico de gallo, sour cream and french fries. She came to be close to her grandchildren.

And we should be grateful she did.

In this land of all too same Tex Mex, Anderson’s Sombrero Mexican Food has brought San Diego’s take on South of the Border cuisine food to Fort Worth’s Hospital District. On a recent visit, all the patrons gave us a thumbs up.

After moving here, Anderson was itching to get back at work. She had decades of experience as a retail manager at Jack in the Box and later became a trainer for Office Depot before a corporate restructuring.

“I spent a year and a half trying to find a restaurant,” she told us. “I had decided when I separated [from Office Depot] that I really wanted to pursue my own opportunity. Soul searching what I was really good at. I looked at fast-food concepts all over the U.S.”

After sifting through franchise opportunities, she risked her savings on a concept with brand recognition in California, but unknown in North Texas — except among SoCal transplants.

“We can’t compete against ‘fine dining,’ but in quick-service we can,” Anderson said.

Location was important, and she discovered a former fried chicken takeout place at West Rosedale Street and St. Louis Avenue. In all, it cost her $200,000 to rehab the place and buy out the existing business, Anderson said.

What sets her place apart in this over-stored market?

“We are a Mexican restaurant that makes everything from scratch, and it’s all high quality,” Anderson replied. “The beans are cooked on site, refried and whole. We cook our own meats. There’s nothing processed or made with preservatives. No ground meat. It’s shredded. And we don’t use a creamy cheesy base but real shredded cheddar cheese.”

Sprouts location

We reported in late July that Sprouts Farmers Market was planning a location in west Fort Worth and now we have confirmation.

The Fort Worth City Council on Tuesday will consider a five-year tax abatement with VCB Property LP, an entity of Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co., for the construction of a Sprouts Market at 6300 Waverly Way, near the Village at Camp Bowie Shopping Center.

Lincoln plans to spend $2.7 million to build a 27,700-square-foot store, according to a council report.

Under terms of the agreement, the city’s property tax on the land will be frozen for five years, beginning in January, for an abatement worth about $116,689, the report said.

Transport merger

Fort Worth-based Lone Star Transportation is merging with the Daseke Inc. of Addison, to become North America’s second-largest open-deck, specialty carrier, the firms announced last week.

Lone Star specializes in transporting complex, oversized and heavy shipments for the renewable energy sector — transporting wind turbine components throughout North America.

“Lone Star’s work in the energy, aerospace, mining and construction sectors provides another great piece to our service portfolio,” said Scott Wheeler, chief financial officer of Daseke. “… With Lone Star’s diverse trailer fleet, coupled with their know-how in extreme overdimensional projects, they’re an excellent fit and truly add to our capabilities.”

Valvoline deal

Fort Worth-based Victory Blue, which specializes in producing diesel exhaust fluid, has partnered with Valvoline to become its exclusive manufacturer, packager and distributor for Valvoline’s Premium Blue brand.

“With our national distribution network and well-established manufacturing and packaging capabilities, we will provide Valvoline’s Premium Blue brand with unprecedented reach and access to both wholesale and retail channels,” Jason Lower, Victory Blue executive vice president, said in a statement. “Our team has worked tirelessly to earn the trust of industry leaders such as Valvoline, and we believe this partnership will provide customers with a premium, recognizable brand at competitive prices.”

Diesel exhaust fuel consumption in North America is projected to surpass 2 billion gallons by 2025, Victory Blue said. DEF is a solution that when injected into the exhaust stream eliminates 90 percent of exhaust pollutants, the company said.

Healthy finances

Two local financial institutions — Southwest Bank and Fort Worth City Credit Union — were named to the 2014 edition of the Top 200 Healthiest Banks/Credit Unions in America by annually evaluates the financial health of federally insured bank and credit unions in the U.S., grading on a number of factors, including capitalization, deposit growth and loan-to-reserve ratios, in order to determine a comprehensive health score.

Southwest Bank was ranked No. 35 and Fort Worth City Credit Union No. 90, said. is the largest and most comprehensive online publication in the U.S. dedicated to banking/savings information for consumers.