Restaurant owners realize their dream by relying on the Center

Small Towns

Para la versión en español, oprima aquí.

Carmen Montes and Carlos Barcenas contributed to this story.

Eduardo Erazo Cabrera’s dream to open his own restaurant started when he was a young boy, cooking for his siblings in El Salvador. His wife, Blanca Nieto, also dreamed of owning a business instead of working for other people.

Now, after decades, Eduardo and Blanca have made their dreams come true.

Eduardo has been living in the U.S. since 1991, and has had jobs in and out of the kitchen, but always loved restaurant positions the most. When Blanca came to the U.S. from El Salvador in 2006, she worked cleaning, child care, and restaurant jobs, sometimes two at a time, and became tired of the grind.

“Most of my time has been spent in restaurants, and I told myself if I'm working two jobs and I'm working very hard for somebody else, then I think I have the energy and the will to start my own business,” Blanca said.

As luck would have it, the owner of one of the establishments Blanca had worked at was considering selling her business, Latino Legacy Restaurant in Ralston, Nebraska. Knowing that Blanca and Eduardo wanted to begin their own venture, she asked Blanca if they’d be interested in taking over the restaurant.

The couple then turned to the Center for Rural Affairs to help finance their dream. With assistance from Latino Loan Specialist Veronica Spindola and Center contractor Mabel Alarcon-Craven, they received their loan and bought the business in October 2019.

“Blanca and Eduardo work really well together and they complement each other businesswise,” said Veronica. “Each of them add the perfect personal touch to their business concept and make the environment very welcoming for not only the Latino clients but for everyone else as well. Latino Legacy is the perfect example of dedication and stability. Eduardo and Blanca are natural entrepreneurs, and they are always seeking new opportunities to grow.”

Blanca and Eduardo used their loan to buy the business and everything associated with it, except the building.

Customers can choose from a variety of Latino dishes from El Salvador and Mexico, as well as a few dishes from Colombia and Puerto Rico. They can also enjoy a variety of broths and stews.

They have had trouble keeping employees on staff as they navigated their way through the pandemic, but Eduardo and Blanca do most of the work themselves, and family and friends come in and assist when needed.

Their children also help out by managing the restaurant’s social media pages and handling promotions, as well as other technology-based tasks.

Running the restaurant is challenging, but the couple is thankful for each day they are open.

“It’s a great feeling when we show up 20 minutes before opening and there are people already outside waiting for us,” Eduardo said. “Even when we leave for the day and we’re super tired and can't wait to get home and get to bed, at the same time we’re able to say thank God we had a great day, today we did a great job.”

Eduardo and Blanca both feel that having passion for one’s work will yield good results.

“You have to have a love for what you do because if you're doing it just for money and have little interest, then your business dream might not come true,” Blanca said. “You really have to love what you're doing.”

Said Eduardo: “For me, it was a dream that I’ve had and did not want to die without making it come true, and now it has.” 

Eventually, they hope to expand their business, and buy their building so they can stop renting. They trust the Center to assist them again when that time comes.

“The Center was willing to help us out, and without their help we probably wouldn't have been able to purchase the business in time,” said Blanca. “The staff has been really helpful and supportive. Anything that we need, they are our first call.”

Need financing to start your own business? Contact your regional loan specialist. Find yours at

At a glance

Latino Legacy Restaurant, LLC
Blanca Nieto and Eduardo Erazo Cabrera
7755 L St.
Ralston, Nebraska
Hours: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; closed Tuesday