By: Isaiah S. Showell, Follow South Jersey Multimedia Journalist/’What’s Good’ Host
HOPEWELL, N.J. — On route 49 in the Township of Hopewell, Lucy’s Mexican Restaurant stands out as the only Mexican serving restaurant in the plaza. Lucy Hernandez started her business nearly a decade ago to support her family and to go after the American dream, even with some adversity. Hernandez admired one movie particularly; it served as a push in the entrepreneurial direction.
“She saw the Selena movie,” said Luis Ruiz, Hernandez’s son. “Her parents opened up a restaurant and it didn’t work out and she questioned it because she knows Americans love Mexican food.”
Unlike the movie, Lucy’s Mexican Restaurant worked out tremendously. Lucy has catered Bridgeton High School, Cumberland Regional, and Salem High School; all to stay plugged into the community and also to give back to the community, Lucy says the kids are the future.
To start her business, Lucy and her husband invested their entire life savings and made many sacrifices. Overnight success is not associated with her story but strategy, budgeting, and faithful family members working on one accord to reach a common goal is.
“My parents ended up selling two cars and there was a heavy budget, but now we’re reaping what we sowed,” said Ruiz. “She didn’t know anyone who owned a business, so she had to learn everything from scratch just like the food we make everything from scratch. Ten years ago my parents were undocumented workers as well so things were hard, risk versus reward.”
Now Lucy’s is a go-to restaurant for several including Ms. Hope Campbell who enjoys Lucy’s food.
“The food is a ten out of ten,” said Campbell. “It feels like home when I come here plus the customer service is good.”
Lucy’s priority is to make her customers feel at home when they come through the door. Her restaurant is full of her own family starting with her husband cooking to her sons and daughters helping periodically. Lucy is surrounded by family, so don’t be a stranger and go to Lucy’s Mexican Restaurant at 654 Shiloh Pike in Hopewell It’s definitely what’s good in South Jersey!
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