A crowd of 500 business leaders, legislators, corporate partners, and small business dignitaries applauded as La Casita M?®xicana was honored as "California Small Business of the Year" for California Assembly District 51.
Chefs Jaime Martin Del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu received this special recognition from Assembly Member Hector De La Torre to applaud a single district-based small business for exemplifying the contributions of the California's 3.7 million small business owners to the California economy.
The award was announced on May 28th at the annual California Small Business Day in Sacramento, and La Casita Mexicana joined small businesses of the year identified in each of 80 state legislative districts. Scores of legislators joined in chorus to salute the spirit of entrepreneurship among California's small business owners and operators throughout the day-long event.
"Jaime and I are humbled to have been selected for this award and it is a tribute to our employees, customers, and community," said Chef Ramiro Arvizu.
"This is a special event when government, businesses, associations and community come together to honor the small business contributions of innovation, job creation and economic growth to the State of California," said Betty Jo Toccoli, President of the California Small Business Association, on behalf of the two-dozen small business organizations hosting the event.
Small businesses serve as the primary economic engine that drives the state's economy. Over one-half of Californians employed in the private sector work for a small business. The state's small firms produce more new jobs, more inventions, and more patents, than any other size company in California or any other state in the nation.
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Two Los Angeles chefs share their slow-food Mexican recipes at their restaurant, La Casita Mexicana, as well as through the media and at cooking demonstrations.
Jaime Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu are proponents of seasonal garden-to-table cooking, much like the meals they enjoyed growing up in the Mexican state of Jalisco. In 1999, they quit their day jobs to transform a storefront in the southeast Los Angeles community of Bell into a cenadur?¡a, or dinner house, serving throughout the day.
Their main courses -- enchiladas, fried fish seasoned with smoked chiles, chiles rellenos stuffed with great, earthy masses of saut?®ed cactus and mushrooms -- are preceded by cream of rice, cream of roasted chicken or a cream of masa soup (LA Weekly 4.11.07).
The duo share their recipes on Univision's Despierta America morning show, regularly appear in La Opini??n's food section and conduct ConAgra-sponsored demonstrations at supermarkets in the Southwest.