Authentic Mexican Food
Vivi grew up in a small village in Mexico, wanting a better life, she moved to El Paso, Texas. After the death of her husband in 1987, she found herself alone and a single mom with small children. Fate stepped in at a wedding in El Paso where she met a couple from Anacortes who told her of the picturesque Pacific Northwest. Wanting a better life for her children she listened and dreamed of a place with trees and close to water. The couple invited her to stay with them while she found a job. Vivi took the plunge, sold most of what she owned, packed up the kids on a Greyhound bus and headed north.
In her dreams, she dreamed of a placed called Friday Harbor and decided that where was she wanted to live. When she reached the Pacific Northwest, she found a job as a dishwasher at bar and grill in Friday Harbor and soon moved her way up to cook. They were so impressed by her skills, her hard work, and energy; they moved her up to chef. Vivi became well known in Friday Harbor and on Friday’s, she started a Vivi’s buffet. This was just the beginning of a dream, a good life, and doing what she loved—cooking.
In 1992, she applied at the Anacortes School District to work in the high school’s kitchen, where she still works today. Commuting between the two islands, Vivi worked hard and eventually saved enough money to buy her first home in Anacortes, the year was 1997. She continued commuting until she found a job at a local Anacortes restaurant.
Working two jobs helped, but Vivi wanted more. As a young girl in the small village in Mexico she learned to cook from her mom. To earn some extra money she started selling homemade salsa, tortillas, and Pica de Gallo to various businesses in Anacortes. Her customer base grew and they were fiercely loyal. Kathy, a former city employee and loyal customer, encouraged Vivi to go into business, but Vivi only had $40, which she invested into the ingredients used to make the salsa, tortillas, and Pica de Gallo. What little profit she made was used to support her family. How do you go into business with such a small amount? Hard working and a determined mother, Vivi started cleaning houses and doing yard work, again building a customer base that was loyal and determined to help her.
Life changed again for Vivi in 2007. With $300 in her pocket and the help of some friends, she started Vivi’s Kitchen. One of her clients provided her with a commercial kitchen to prepare the food, then helped her get started with the Anacortes Farmers Market. Her dream of cooking authentic Mexican food was finally becoming a reality.