May 20, 2019
Old Mexican Inn: The Tale of Family, Success and… Orange Dip
By Jenna Paulus, Public Relations Manager, Deluxe
In our “Small Business Stories” series, we hit the road to interview small business owners about their unique journeys. Each story provides inspiration and insights, while shining a spotlight on the passionate small business owners who are so critical to our economies and our communities.
Not many businesses, large or small, can say they’ve been in business for more than 75 years. That’s a huge feat, for any business to reach. When our team set out to research businesses with compelling stories to share during our Top 10 town trip across the country, Old Mexican Inn in Corsicana, Texas stood out to us for that fact. Not only has the business been open since 1941, but it has been owned and operated by the same family since it began.
That tour across the country for Small Business Revolution is all about trying to find business owners with a compelling point of view, with something to share. As a company that has been in business for 104 years ourselves, Deluxe knows something about longevity. Passing down that knowledge from generation to generation, from owner to owner, helps other businesses across the country learn what they can do themselves to thrive.
The parents of Julius Flores II started Old Mexican Inn. Julius and his wife took over the business in 1970 and have shepherded their current location through expansions, repeat customers and longtime employees whom they trust and love. Now, Julius runs the business with two of his children, including daughter, Danica Wooley.
Operating a business for that long has its challenges. It has been Julius’ life. There are multiple Mexican restaurants on the same street in Corsicana. Setting themselves apart from competitors is a constant challenge. Financial setbacks have occurred over the years, but the family continuously pushes themselves to get back to where they should be, with the help of their management staff, who Julius credits for keeping the business successful.
But what is it about Old Mexican Inn that continues to keep people coming back, other than the amazing service and great food? Danica credits their famous Orange Dip for helping them stand out from their competition. Developed in 1943 by Julius’ father, which he dubbed “Old Mexican Inn Special Salad Dressing,” the secret family recipe is a staple at the restaurant, with more than 100 gallons a week being made. The dip is a favorite amongst customers, who use it as an appetizer for dipping their tortilla chips or adding to their favorite dishes.
Orange Dip aside, both Julius and Danica credit the restaurant for bringing their family together. Danica stated, “We have a special bond that most people don’t have.” Because they’re together, sharing ideas, and running the business, there’s a lot of opportunity for them to get closer. And Danica says she and her brother are closer now than they’ve ever been.
Running a small business with your family isn’t easy, but Julius and his family have it down to a science. The love and passion for Old Mexican Inn shines through with everything they do, whether it’s through the food or interactions with employees or customers. They love their restaurant and the community of Corsicana that has continued to help them be successful for the last 78 years.