Finding a burrito near campus just got a little bit harder.
Consueloâ€™s Mexican Restaurant, a dining destination for both families and students in the Fort Collins community, is closing its doors Nov. 30 after nearly 18 years of business.
Consuelo Trujillo, co-founder, owner, cook and partner, is â€œsemi-retiringâ€ to focus on the various projects stemming from the mothership restaurant, located at 1401 W. Elizabeth St.
She is focusing more of her attention on expanding the business attracted by Consueloâ€™s Express on Lemay Avenue. She plans on opening more express restaurants. Her plans also include launching a new line of jarred salsa and continuing the production and distribution of Nanitaâ€™s Finest green chile, currently sold at several retail locations including Albertsons, King Soopers, Whole Foods and Sunflower Market.
â€œI will still be active and pretty busy overseeing everything else,â€ Trujillo said. â€œBut itâ€™s time to slow down.â€
But worry not CSU; students will still be able to get their daily burrito fix.
Breakfast burritos, distributed by Consueloâ€™s, will continue to be sold on campus in the LSC at both Bagel Places and in Camâ€™s Lobby Shop and also at Morganâ€™s Grind in the library.
â€œThey are a part of my daily routine,â€ said Ali Khavari, sophomore engineering major, who never fails to purchase a Consueloâ€™s burrito every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. â€œEven though the restaurant is closing, thankfully theyâ€™re still being sold; itâ€™s a shred of hope on a sea of darkness.â€
Trujillo, however, doesnâ€™t view Consueloâ€™s destiny as such a dark destination.
According to her and her husband Sam Trujillo, business partner and â€œall-around-do-everything man,â€ the couple are simply â€œhanding the reinsâ€ to their children Ruben and Roberta Rivera. Ruben, 37, will be in charge of Nanitaâ€™s chile sales and Roberta, 36, will be the general manager at the express restaurant.
And with more than 45 years-experience cooking, Consuelo and Sam are not about to abandon this town altogether. They recently created a gluten free green chile recipe and intend to keep running with the lineâ€™s success.
â€œIâ€™ve always had it in me to cook and all my recipes come from my head,â€ Consuelo said. â€œI donâ€™t measure anything; I do everything by feel.â€
While the loss of the restaurant doesnâ€™t mean the loss of the chile, the community will feel the absence of Consueloâ€™s in other ways.
The restaurant concerned itself with the communityâ€™s needs, often hiring staff members out of halfway houses and rehabilitation centers. For employees like Chasity Flores, who has been with the restaurant for nine years, the restaurantâ€™s closing marks a significant life transition.
â€œItâ€™s weird; it doesnâ€™t seem real,â€ Flores said. â€œIâ€™m sad about it, but Iâ€™m also ready for a change.â€
Freshman nutrition major Katie Loadman found a home away from home in the restaurant.
â€œIt wasnâ€™t anything fancy,â€ she said. â€œBut it was really good homemade food. Itâ€™s a shame itâ€™s closing.â€
The end of the business may dampen spirits among students and Fort Collins residents, but Consuelo is fond of and thankful for her time within its doors.
â€œIâ€™ve done everything I could for Fort Collins with pride,â€ she said. â€œItâ€™s given a lot back to me and I would just like to thank the community for being such good customers and friends. Still come visit me at the express.â€
Collegian writer Colleen Canty can be reached at email@example.com.