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Spreading Good Will Through Enchiladas

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Adrienne Bankert
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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - A restaurant in Fort Worth is spreading good will through enchiladas. Open only four months, it appears as though the secret is in the sauce, and the service.

It reads like a food fairy tale. Mary Perez’s award-winning sauces were already on the shelves in Central Market stores. But when local restaurants were not biting on her signature ‘Tex Mex with a twist’ cuisine, she decided to open a restaurant of her own — Enchiladas Ole. The eatery offers six different kinds of enchiladas and has received rave reviews.

“It’s a dream come true,” Perez said.

The story is pretty sweet for a woman who gave up a 30-year career working with local charities in order to follow her passion. “I think the secret is, one, our environment. We treat people as if they are part of our family,” Perez said. “Serve our customers and serve the community. I think that is part of my nonprofit background.”

Perez did admit that the work — including 14 to 16 hour days — is not easy. Orders are made in small batches to taste more like home-cooked food. But it is an incredibly rewarding job. Everyone on her staff was unemployed before they were hired. And patrons said that it is the warm welcome that keeps them coming back. “She loves the community,” said diner Johnny White.

And if someone at her restaurant cannot afford to pay, they are not denied service. “Our plates and our food is just a small part of what we’re doing here,” explained Perez, who still donates her time and talents to local charities.

The restaurant is located at 901 North Sylvania Avenue in Fort Worth. And those signature sauces will soon be available in Kroger and Albertsons Markets, too.

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