Ivan Flores, CEO & Founder
The Buffalo Spot and Blue Burros
Long Beach, California
This self-taught entrepreneur and creator of the “world-famous buffalo fries” knew he wanted to be a restaurant owner when he was only 12 years old. “A schoolmate brought a burrito from his father’s restaurant for lunch, and that inspired me,” he says. “The burrito looked delicious, but mostly, I liked the idea of owning something of my own.”
He followed his dreams, opening a taco shop, but it failed after only three months. Most would have given up, but Flores persevered. Just six months later, he opened a new restaurant in a better location called The Buffalo Spot, featuring the buffalo fries that sold so well in his first restaurant. Today there are 31 locations, and five Blue Burros, a new Mexican concept that pays homage to his mother’s native country...and his original dream of selling tacos.
With plans to grow to 100 locations in five years, Flores is a mentor to future franchisees. “They are like family, and I want them to grow alongside me,” he says. “I want to help them avoid the same mistakes I made.”
His advice? “The American Dream is real. Anyone can make it here if you work hard and persevere. Have faith, and never stop dreaming.”
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