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Nov 15, 2022

When Tacombi founder and CEO Dario Wolos reflects upon the origins and development of his Mexican-inspired restaurant chain, he gets a bit nostalgic.  

Launched out of a retrofitted VW bus parked on the shores of Playa del Carmen, Tacombi was born out of Wolos’ passion to share Mexican culture through authentic food, hospitality and experiences. 

Sixteen years after selling its first taco, Tacombi is in the midst of a major expansion during which it will open at least 75 new locations across the U.S. over the next five years. The growth plan is supported by a $27.5 million funding round that the company completed in December 2021 and was led by Enlightened Hospitality Investments, the growth equity fund affiliated with restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group.

Meanwhile, Tacombi’s consumer packaged goods brand, Vista Hermosa, which markets tortilla chips, corn and flour tortillas and a new line of frozen burritos, is rapidly expanding its retail footprint to over 800 stores including Whole Foods and Bristol Farms.

Tacombi is Wolos’ life’s work – he conceived the concept as a teenager – and although the new restaurants and retail expansion will bring his vision closer to reality, the journey and experiences that came with it have come to define who he is as an entrepreneur and a leader.

In this episode, Wolos spoke about how he applied learnings from the early days of Tacombi to its current business operations, how the timing of Tacombi’s launch and development in the U.S. has benefited its growth, why he described the creation of a CPG brand as a natural evolution for the company and the decision to align with Danny Meyer and Enlightened Hospitality.

Show notes:

0:45: Dario Wolos, Founder/CEO, Tacombi & Vista Hermosa – Taste Radio editor Ray Latif met with Wolos at Tacombi’s “oficina” in New York City, where the entrepreneur spoke about setting down roots in the Bowery neighborhood, Vista Hermosa’s new Burrito Bueno line, what spurred his decision to exit a hot market for startup tech and why he chose to launch Tacombi in Mexico. He also explained how the diaspora of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. helped generate greater interest in the country’s cuisine and authentic food, why sourcing high quality produce is challenging and yet key to Tacombi’s menu strategy and how the creation of Vista Hermosa aligned with the restaurant’s focus on authenticity and premium ingredients. Later, Wolos spoke about how Tacombi is attempting to reach consumers at every touchpoint, including online, how the company was bootstrapped until the deal with Enlightened Hospitality and why he reflects upon the past when considering the accelerated pace for opening new restaurants.  

Brands in this episode:  Tacombi, Vista Hermosa