Special to the Golden Star
A family of new faces has arrived in Golden, here to fulfill a long term dream of theirs: open a family restaurant.
Karla Lara and Ulises Rivera took over ownership of the ABC Country Restaurant in the Prestige Inn earlier this month. In a few months, the family restaurant will be converted into a Ricky’s All Day Grill, with a special twist from the new owners.
Lara and Rivera came to Golden from Bogota, Colombia, where they both worked. They are originally from Mexico City, where they grew up, studied, and began raising their family.
The couple has two daughters, Daniela, 13, and Fernanda, 11. The girls started school at Lady Grey Elementary, and are enjoying activities there so far. Rivera lived in the United States before marrying, and took up skiing.
Daniela and Fernanda already have their snowboards tuned up, and are ready to hit the mountain.
The family is adjusting to the cold weather, having moved from Colombia to Golden at the beginning of winter.
When they lived in the big city, Rivera explained, it would take 2.5 hours to drive 28 kilometres to and from work. Here, they can get from their house to the restaurant in five minutes.
“You can better spend that time doing sports or in your house,” Lara said.
They are happy everything is within a short distance away, and have been using their longer commute time to take in other adventures nearby. They have already visited the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, and been to Lake Louise, with plans of returning for the ice sculptures later this winter.
“It is not only the business that brought us here,” Rivera said. “It is the quality of life, and that is what we’re looking for.”
They are excited to live in a community where strangers on the street say hello to each other, and neighbours are helpful and friendly.
“This is the place where you can raise children. We always wanted to have a family business. Not only to involve us, but our daughters too,” Rivera said.
Purchasing a franchise business is a tough job, Lara said. There was a lengthy interview process, and many meetings before the family could become franchise owners of ABC Country Restaurant. It took many months of searching for the perfect opportunity before Lara and Rivera decided on the restaurant in Golden. They arrived here for a meeting in April, and it has taken many steps to finally take over ownership in early December. After February, the restaurant will be converted into a Ricky’s.
Lara and Rivera will wait until after the busy winter season before they make any changes, but customers can start expecting more Mexican specials on the menu soon. They are also interested in showing more sports on the TVs, and providing produce and beer from local businesses.
“We understand the importance of supporting local produce and local people,” Rivera said.
In Colombia, Lara worked in human resources and Rivera was in charge of opening offices for an IT company. It has been a long-time goal to open a restaurant together.
“It was our dream 16 years ago to open a restaurant,” Lara said.
To stay up to date with the goings on of the ABC Restaurant and future Ricky’s, go to the Facebook group ABC Country Restaurant Golden. Lara and Rivera will be posting specials and important information through Facebook, and will engage the community through social media.