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Antonio Puga, Manager at Ernesto's Fine Mexican Food

Ernesto’s Fine Mexican Food is about three things: family, community, and great food. I spoke with Antonio Puga, manager and chef at the Ellicott City restaurant, and he explained how it all got started. Ernesto Puga, the restaurant chain’s namesake and Antonio’s uncle, created the first location in Texas in 2006. Antonio was drawn to Ernesto’s by the family connection and by the food. “I love the kitchen,” he says. Antonio loves to cook, plain and simple. So he brought Ernesto’s to the east coast, where he was living. And he’s been supporting Veterans since the very beginning. “Veterans, fire fighters, police… we give discounts to all of them,” Antonio explains. This makes perfect sense, given Antonio and Ernesto’s family connection to the military. They have nephews, cousins, and more who are enlisted; one even recently served in Iraq. But it was a deeper motivation that prompted Antonio to join yet another program in support of Veterans: “I want to contribute to the community in any way I can,” says Antonio.

-Madeline T. Dixon
Freelance Copywriter, Journalist