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THE STORY OF LA MARIPOSA

Thursday, November 20, 2023


After 37 years the original la mariposa location is closing


Like every great story begins …


Once upon a time, in the city of Fort Lupton, Colorado, a young newlywed couple, that

originated from Chihuahua, the largest state in Mexico. Rene Cervantes, a young mason, dedicated to the construction of the then United Bank Building (now The Wells Fargo

Center) in the city of Denver, CO. Maria Cervantes his beautiful and young enterprising

wife. She worked for an electronic semiconductor company called Technetics. Together

they worked very hard to better themselves and give their children a better tomorrow.


It was for her children, that one day, Maria began selling tamales and burritos at her work.

The reason? Their then only son Rene Cervantes Jr.’s birthday was rapidly approaching,

and money was tight. She wanted to buy him the shoes he would wear with his one year

birthday outfit. Prior to this, the idea of selling food, never crossed Maria’s mind, much

less own a restaurant. Then one fateful day, while on break, everything would change

with a simple exchange of food.


Rene and his co-workers would bring their own lunch to work. During lunch break they

often exchanged food (Warm Burritos for Sandwiches). Everybody loved to exchange

with Rene, because Maria’s cooking was phenomenal. One day, his co-worker Larry

Tinajera said “Rene, this burrito is delicious! Why don’t you bring burritos to sell?” Rene

did not find the idea very attractive, since he didn’t want to sell burritos among his coworkers.

Nevertheless, he begrudgingly told his wife what Larry had said. Maria, who

was already selling burritos and tamales at her work, was very excited about the idea

because she would always insist Rene, “take burritos to sell”. She enthusiastically replied

“Why not? Let’s do it!” although not keen of the idea, Rene accepted to appease his wife.

Unbeknownst to them at the time, they had just planted a seed that would flourish into

opening their first restaurant.


Today, walking the steps to the entrance of the Wells Fargo Center, Rene recalls how he

would sell out before even making it to the entrance. Those burritos were very special,

because they were handmade, from the tortilla to their fresh ingredients. Thanks to their

good taste and excellent quality, the popularity of those burritos grew.


After a while, they became aware of a small restaurant called “La Mariposa” that was for

sale in the city of Longmont, CO. The young couple knew nothing at all about how to run

their own business, much less what it takes to operate and run a restaurant. They only

knew 3 things; their food was exceptionally popular, together they could do anything

and they wanted to give their children a better tomorrow. So they decided to take the

risk and buy the restaurant. Three decades later those 3 things still ring true, but now

they can also say without a doubt they know how to run a restaurant.


37 years ago the Cervantes family, with so much love and hope, opened the doors of that

small restaurant called “La Mariposa” for the first time. 37 years later it’s still operating,

at the same location, with the same great service, the same incomparable flavor, and

with that same love for preparing and serving excellent Mexican food for all their

customers. Many of the customers are also the same ones from 37 years ago! Some

things have changed over time…


That small restaurant today is known as: La Mariposa Restaurant & Margarita House, is much larger, and now has new sister locations, with its namesake in Boulder, CO, Greeley, CO and Lyons, CO. In addition to La Mariposa Restaurants, Mr. Rene Cervantes, his wife Maria and children Rene Jr., Christina, Crystal, and Anthony grew their restaurant business by opening one more restaurant; Tito’s Mexican Grill (fast casual burrito joint) in Loveland, CO.


Great food is always accompanied by great music, and it is in music that the Cervantes family found its calling for making great events in the state of Colorado. Rencer Enterprises is the largest and most prestigious company in the Regional Mexican genre in the state of Colorado.


37 years ago, who could imagine that humble lunchbox full of burritos was the beginning of something so great. The Cervantes Family is in the process of moving the original La Mariposa restaurant to a spectacular new home, which will open its doors to the public very soon in the city of Longmont. The project means a lot to the Cervantes family, because it symbolizes all the years of effort, work, community support, and is the family legacy for all future generations.


“It has been an honor to serve the state of Colorado, and its tourists for these

unforgettably wonderful 37 years. On behalf of our family, we thank all of you who have

supported us so much, and for being part of this beautiful story. We are here to serve you, in this, your restaurant, ‘La Mariposa’ Thank you.”

-Rene and Maria Cervantes






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