Santa Rosa taqueria sees business boom following feature on Guy Fieri's show

- Call it the Midas touch or in this case, the Fieri touch. A taqueria in Santa Rosa is seeing a business boom after celebrity chef and Sonoma County's own Guy Fieri featured the eatery on his show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dive.

Fieri put a spotlight on Taqueria Molcajetes in a segment that aired on the Food Network last month and since then, a constant flow of customers have come through the already popular spot for locals.

"Without question, one of the best Mexican food experiences I've EVER had," Fieri said in a Jan. 12 post on the Food Network's Facebook page. 

Taqueria Molcajetes, located at 1195 W College in Santa Rosa, is also now named on the Food Network's list of top places to eat.

"Chef and owners Zacarias Martin and Dionicia Valdovinos are serving up authentic Mexican food with influences from Guadalajara and Michoacán," the network wrote on its site. "The food incorporates chilis and spices, like cloves, and many of their dishes make use of the use of the molcajete, the traditional Mexican mortar and pestle."

The Sonoma County Economic Development Board (EDB) is applaudingTaqueria Molcajetes's success. 

The board worked with the restaurant owners and helped them secure a $40,000 loan from the Sonoma County Impact Loan Fund.

The program is described as a first-of-its kind partnership in the county that brings together local lending institutions to create a microlending fund for local businesses that don’t qualify for traditional bank financing. Such businesses include growing or start-up operations like Taqueria Molcajetes.

EDB said the loan helped launch the restuarant in 2017. The business did so well, its owners were recognized with the “Imagine Award” for outstanding revenue growth, according to Al Lerma, Director of Business Development and Innovation for Sonoma County.

“The success of Taqueria Molcajetes is a testament to their hard work and our efforts to support small business in obtaining loans and the capital they need to grow and expand in Sonoma County," Lerma said in a statement to KTVU.

Lerma credited Taqueria Molcajete for creating more than 30 jobs in the community and said that the recent boost in publicity and resulting business boom are giving the restaurant incentive to open a second location in Petaluma later this year.

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