The American dream really can come true for today’s immigrants. At least that’s 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 set about finding a better life for his future family.
He first worked at Longmont Foods, and then moved 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 packer 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 big 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 daily and sold directly to the public.
And it’s been successful and popular.
“(The) first thing I do whenever I visit my mom in Longmont is to stop here and pick up 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,” wrote one customer.
And another customer wrote: “I have been going here for approximately 17 years. I love it. All their tortillas are delicious, from corn to wheat. Amazingly tasty. I take them to my family in California every time I visit them. Now, it’s what they wait for every time 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 Kansas and Nebraska.
He is the father of two daughters and grandfather of five.
The Hall of Fame event will be at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Boulder. Event information and tickets can be found at the event website.
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