Acapulco Grocery and Bakery keeps on thriving in Iowa City


The American Dream for every person it is different. Some want a big house with white picket fence, while others dream of launching their own business. Whatever the dream is, immigrants are similar to citizens and they also dream their own version of American dream. Many immigrants dream of being business owners and while some are just starting on a journey, others are working hard to expand their dream even further. During last ten years or so, Vicente Garcia and Maria Gonzalez owners of Acapulco Grocery/Bakery in Iowa City, IA have been working hard on expanding their version of American Dream as small business owners.

As many immigrants out there, this husband and wife duo came in search of better future for themselves and their families. After years of working for others in big chain restaurants, they decided they had had enough of working for other people. They wanted to be their own bosses, they wanted to teach their children the value of work, they wanted to own a business and make it successful.

The opportunity came knocking on the door and 11 years ago they found themselves running small grocery store with meat market in the back of it.  


“Even if it happened a long time ago, it feels as if it happened yesterday,” Maria Gonzalez recalled when they just started this journey. “When one launches a business, one does not know what will happen.”

Truly, a fear of failure might stop many people form even trying, this couple does not allow themselves to be pessimistic. Over more than a decade, the couple, along with their 3 children, kept on working and expanding their store, getting a new location and trying to attract more diverse customers.

Hard work, advice, and help from other business owners like the well known accounting firm Community CPA, who don’t just offer help with accounting and taxes but also with advice and solutions on how to run your business.


“They help us with more than accounting and taxes,” Ms. Gonzalez offered words of praise to Community CPA. “They do great job.”

No matter how simple or complex the situation you are in, Community CPA offers strategies and solutions that is easy to understand and quick to implement. At Community CPA, their team members are more than accountants to their clients. Each team member is considered a mentor, cheerleader, adviser, and partner in their client’s successful business venture. And so is the case with Luis Ordenana who is the accountant that assists Vicente and Maria.



While, Community CPA might offer a lot of advice and share most valuable information that exists out there, the fact is, at the end of the day it is up for business owners themselves to take an initiative and learn from information. With the help of their three children, Gonzalez and Garcia took the initiative, heard the advice and now not only they have two locations, but their business has three aspects.


“It is like 3 in 1,” Maria Gonzalez stated.

There is bakery, taqueria and store. Mrs. Gonzalez explained that one of her sons always wanted to own a restaurant. So, the couple got taqueria up and running where their son can learn to run restaurant.

The restaurant is a point of pride for this couple. Nowadays, customers are always on a look out for the freshest ingredients available in their restaurant meals. Mrs. Gonzalez assure that this is something they will certainly find in her restaurant. She explained that where some restaurant owners substitute fresh garlic and onion for powder, she will not allow this in hers. Her beans simmered slowly with fresh onion and garlic and cans are not part of her recipes.

“Our recipes are of homemade foods,” she proudly explained. “We make our food according our parents’ recipes.”

There is no special secret ingredients or strange recipes. They simply make good food with love and desire to satisfy the taste buds of their customers.

Since expanding this family run business is flourishing.

“A chain? Maybe one day,” Mrs. Gonzalez laughs. “Of course, we want to have a chain of stores, but we are not ready now.”

While Vicente Garcia and Maria Gonzalez started this business, now, it will be up to their children to turn it into a chain. As for the couple, they are dreaming of retirement even though no business owner ever really retires. Retirement might not happen any time soon, but the business needs to continue serving the clients and providing jobs for locals in the community.

“Thanks God and our clients,” Mrs. Gonzalez stated her gratitude to all her customers who chose her business to meet their needs.

It is not easy to be business owner, but certainly it is not unattainable or impossible dream. As the saying goes, “if you dream it, you can achieve it.” An immigrant couple Vicente Garcia and Maria Gonzalez worked hard for the past decade to achieve their dream. They are not done yet and with the help of their three children they will keep on expanding and who knows, maybe one day they might as well be owners of a chain of Acapulco grocery stores!

Acapulco Grocery/Bakery is located at 1937 Keokuk St., Iowa City, IA. Call them at (319) 338-1122. Look them up and follow their page in Facebook.

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