HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Heritage can make an impression that lasts for generations. A local Harrisburg family is carrying on their tradition while expanding their business.
Enrique Armas always knew that he wanted to work for his family’s business. “I always had this thing in the back of my mind. That this is what I wanted to do,” said Armas.
Eloy Saenz, Armas’ grandfather, first started selling authentic Mexican cuisine in Harrisburg in the 1990s. “He sold carnitas with a Dominican flair and he sold in empanadas with Dominican rice and stuff like that,” Armas added.
Eloy opened a taco truck, which he converted from an empty Utz Chips truck, called Mexico Lindo in 2001.
Eloy retired and moved back to Mexico in 2013, giving the family business to his daughters, Ana and Elodia.
“A lot of gratitude. We are really fortunate that that he was in our lives. And without him we wouldn’t have any of this,” Armas said about his grandfather Eloy.
And it wasn’t long before it was Armas’ turn to carry on the family tradition. “I really started working there when I was 14. I will just put toppings on tacos and stuff like that. Just simple stuff that a kid can do. And then I really got really involved once I went to college. That’s when I knew that I was going,” said Armas.
Armas’ help would end up shaping the family business in a new way.
“We had this really good product that I had to keep going and I couldn’t let it go,” said Armas. The business rebranded from Mexico Lindo to Masa. “It’s like the base of the culture and that’s why I called chose that name, because masa is in everything.”
With the new name, Armas decided it was also time for a more permanent location.
“We had an option of either investing in that same location and continuing the food truck or it was move onto the next step which was a restaurant,” Armas added.
The family only lives five minutes away from Masa’s downtown Harrisburg location, making the transition easy.
Elodia Saenz, Armas’ mother, commented on the impact the restaurant has on their family and the community.
“We’re really proud of of everything. We’re really proud about our business we’re really proud about our food our culture our country but it’s about the meaning behind it keeping my grandfathers legacy being able to work with my family and being able to employ some of my family is really special,” said Saenz.